The Financial Markets Conduct Bill is still on track to being enacted by the beginning of 2013. The Bill had its first reading in March 2012 and is now before the Commerce Select Committee. Submissions on the Bill closed on 26 April and the select committee is scheduled to report back to the House on the Bill in September 2012.
Whereas the Ministry of Economic Development's last consultation process on the exposure draft of the Bill was focused on the technical details of the Bill, the select committee's review of the Bill will also involve matters of policy. One area that has been signalled by the Ministry as a likely focus for the select committee concerns the significant movement from criminal liability to civil liability in the Bill and the change in focus for primary liability for disclosure failings from the directors to the issuer.
Last year, the Ministry of Economic Development also indicated that it would release a discussion document on the regulations under the Bill in mid-2012, with a view to finalising those regulations by mid-2013. The regulations will include detailed provisions for the new product disclosure statements, managed investment schemes, market services licensing and the regulation of alternative markets.