The Financial Markets Conduct Bill has been tabled in the House. The Bill was borne out of the securities law reform process which has been underway for some time now, and sets out the framework for the future regulation of our financial markets (much of the detail of the new regime will be set out in regulations which are yet to be developed).

The Bill rewrites and consolidates a number of pieces of legislation including the Securities Act, Securities Markets Act, Unit Trusts Act, Superannuation Schemes Act, Securities Transfer Act and parts of the KiwiSaver Act. Key aspects of the Bill include changes to the offers of securities that are exempted from compliance with the disclosure requirements of our securities laws, a product disclosure statement and securities register to replace the prospectus and investment statement, a regime for the regulation of collective investment schemes, a licensing framework for certain financial market participants and a modified liability regime.

The Bill is of particular relevance to those who have raised or are looking to raise funds – whether from public or private sources, those who have authority to manage others’ investments, those involved in the operation of collective investment schemes and derivatives dealers. It is expected that the Bill will go through the Select Committee process through the first part of 2012, with the regulations being developed though the year and the legislation enacted in late 2012.