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Regulator with teeth: the enforcement capabilities of the FMA

12 July 2011

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This paper was first presented at Conferenz’s Securities Law Update, 11-12 July 2011, in Wellington.

New Zealand’s new “super regulator”, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), opened for business on 1 May 2011. The FMA’s main purpose, as defined in the establishment legislation, is to promote fair, efficient and transparent financial markets.

Compared to its predecessor agencies, the FMA has been equipped with extensive enforcement powers and capabilities in the service of this objective. This paper explores these powers, their genesis and likely manner of application. It does not seek to question the utility of, or justification for, the powers. Rather it focuses on the practicalities of what the FMA can do, to whom, and how.
First, however, a brief background to the creation of the FMA and the perceived need for “a regulator with teeth”.
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