The Commerce Select Committee has reported back to the House on the Financial Markets Conduct Bill. Commerce Minister Craig Foss welcomed the Report stating that the Bill is critical for investor confidence by ensuring that businesses can raise capital whilst also holding the unscrupulous to account.

The Committee unanimously recommended that the Bill be passed with amendments. The Committee recommended, among other things, that:

  • The requirement to maintain a register of persons with substantial holdings in listed issuers be removed.
  • A new general offence for false or misleading statements be introduced.
  • Amendments be made to section 14 of the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act to extend the current bans on persons being directors, senior managers, or controlling owners to include overseas bans.

The Report also deals with the liability regime (both criminal and civil) in the Bill which places more focus on civil liability and compensation. The Commerce Minister stated that he agreed with the Committee's recommendations that would set criminal liability at the same level as the Crimes Act and provide more comprehensive defences to civil liability.

The full Report can be accessed here.