Power’s securities law overhaul attracts secret submissions

Article – BusinessDesk

Oct. 12 (BusinessDesk) – A haul of 72 submissions, from a who’s who of the nation’s most powerful businesses, has been filed on fundamental reforms to decades-old securities legislation – four of them private.

Power’s securities law overhaul attracts secret submissions

By Paul McBeth

Oct. 12 (BusinessDesk) – A haul of 72 submissions, from a who’s who of the nation’s most powerful businesses, has been filed on fundamental reforms to decades-old securities legislation – four of them private.

The Financial Markets Conduct Bill was tabled in Parliament today as a final act by outgoing Commerce Minister Simon Power.

The draft legislation received 72 submissions from various lobby groups, fund managers, investors, corporates and broking groups, though four notable names kept their thoughts private.

Submissions from lender Bank of New Zealand, oil company Shell Petroleum Mining Ltd., local oil and industry barons the Todd Family Office, and supermarket chain Foodstuffs Auckland weren’t published on the Ministry of Economic Development’s website, which released the views of other submitters earlier this week.

The legislative overhaul will cap off Power’s contribution to his commerce portfolio, which included the introduction of a super-regulator in the Financial Markets Authority, completing the licensing regime for financial advisers and introducing new checks for other industry players who were previously self-regulating such as auditors and trustees.

The main goal for the legislative overhaul was to improve financial market conduct and restore investor confidence, Power said.

The major legs of the 560-page bill will simplify disclosure requirements tailored for retail investors, introduce bigger fines for misleading investors, give the FMA stronger powers in banning directors, establish new licensing regimes and impose tougher rules on managed investment schemes.

“This bill seizes on a once-in-a generation opportunity to re-write our securities law – which has been subject to decades of ad hoc reform – in an integrated and coherent manner,” Power said in a statement. “It will play a crucial role in restoring investor confidence by providing better information and protections for mum and dad investors, as well as setting clearer rules for companies looking to raise capital.

Power thanked the industry for its “constructive engagement” in the bill’s design.

Yesterday he announced he will head up Westpac Private Bank from January next year, having previously flagged his retirement in March. In his new role, Power will look after high net wealth households with an annual income in excess of $250,000 and assets at least worth $1 million.

(BusinessDsek)

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