The Commerce Committee has released its report on the Financial Markets Conduct Bill (the Bill).

The Commerce Committee received 62 submissions on the Bill and the Committee has addressed a number of policy points raised by submitters in its recommendations. The recommendations also include a number of technical improvements to the Bill.

Key recommendations focus on the liability provisions

The main changes made by the Committee are to the enforcement and liability provisions in Part 7. This is not unexpected as the Government had previously signalled that this area of the Bill would be a focus of the Commerce Committee’s consideration of the Bill. The changes bring the Bill more in line with the Government’s policy approach to the securities liability regime as outlined in the February and May 2011 Cabinet Papers. The changes include a broader range of defences to the civil liability provisions for directors and accessories.

Final commencement date extended

There has been no indication that the timeline for the passage of the Bill has changed, but the default commencement date for the Bill has been extended from 1 April 2015 to 1 April 2017 in order to provide more flexibility to bring some of the provisions into force. The Bill is expected to have its final reading by early 2013.

Future updates

We will provide further client updates on the Commerce Committee’s recommendations on the Bill once we have considered the Committee’s report in more detail.

In the meantime, click here to read a copy of the latest version of the Bill, together with a full summary of the recommended amendments.