Adviser legislation poised to go into extra time

The select committee considering the Financial Advisers legislation amendments has delayed its final report by over two months, calling into question the end of year deadline for the bill's ratification.

Thursday, June 26th 2008, 5:41AM

by David Chaplin

Submissions on the revised Financial Advisers Bill - which substantially altered the original ambit of the proposed legislation - closed on May 16 this year and the finance and expenditure select committee was due to report its findings around June 20.

However, a spokesperson for the office of Commerce Minister, Lianne Dalziel, said the select committee's workload has put back the final report until September 1.

According to the select committee office, an "adequate" number of submissions have been received on the Advisers Bill amendments. Select committee hearings for the legislation have been scheduled to begin at the end of July.

With an election due to be called some time in November the final sitting date for Parliament would be late in September, leaving little time to push the Advisers Bill through its final stages.

"The intention is still to make it before the end of the year," Dalziel's spokesperson said. "[The Financial Advisers Bill] is still prioritised."

Dalziel has repeatedly stated her aim was to have the adviser legislation in place before the November election.

Proposals for a radical revamp of the bill - that included the scrapping of the co-regulation model in favour of direct control of the industry by the Securities Commission - floated by the select committee in April were partly designed to speed its passage into law.

"Where it [the bill] was once primarily about reviewing the regulations around the financial sector and encouraging industry participation, it is now on rebuilding investor confidence as quickly as possible," Dalziel said in April.

However, it is believed the Financial Advisers Bill enjoys broad cross-party support, suggesting even if Labour lost the upcoming election - as many early polls indicate - the legislation should pass early in 2009.

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