On 22 April 2013 the Minister of Commerce, the Hon Craig Foss, released a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) containing what are likely to be the final changes to the Financial Markets Conduct Bill (FMC Bill).

The SOP sets out changes made to the FMC Bill following public consultation and further discussions between officials and various stakeholders.  In announcing the SOP, Mr Foss singled out four areas of change for particular attention in his press release, which relate to issues that have been the subject of public comment as a result of the Ross Asset Management collapse and the interrelationship of the relevant pieces of legislation.  These four areas are: 

  • An increase in the investment value threshold for deeming an investor to be a wholesale investor from $500,000 to $750,000
  • Extending the partial disclosure requirements that apply to offers made under exclusions to wholesale investors (so issuers making an offer to wholesale investors will need to comply with the partial disclosure requirements that will be prescribed by the regulations)
  • Further controls over the provision of discretionary managed investment services , in particular where these may be provided by authorised financial advisers operating under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA)
  • Aligning the purpose provisions of the different pieces of financial markets legislation so that the relevant provisions of the FAA and the Securities Trustees and Statutory Supervisors Act (which will become the Financial Market Supervisors Act) are brought into line with the FMC Bill.

Given the bipartisan support for the legislation in Parliament further changes to the legislation would appear unlikely, and the FMC Bill will be on path to complete the Parliamentary process and be enacted as law.