At is meeting held on 5 September 2012, Parliament’s National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance has adopted its report on the Financial Markets Bill (B12-2012), first referred to the Committee on 3 April 2012. The Committee held public hearings on the Bill on 29 May 2012, which has its aims the following objectives amongst others, to bring to replace the 2004 Security Services Act in line with international standards:
- provide for the regulation of financial markets;
- license exchanges, central securities depositories, clearing houses and trade repositories;
- regulate and control securities trading and custody and administration of securities; and
- prohibit insider trading and other market abuses and provide for codes of conduct.
Additional amendments proposed to the Bill by National Treasury agreed to by the Committee includes:
- the inclusion of competition as an objectives of the Act;
- the exclusion of gross negligence from the limitation of liability in market infrastructure;
- the role of Parliament in approving regulations to be promulgated by the Minister of Finance;
- management of conflicts of interest in market infrastructure by the Registrar; and
- linking penalty provisions to inflation.
Parliamentary process going forward
The Committee will adopt the final version of the Bill on 18 September 2012. The Committee will then transmit its report and the Bill to the National Assembly for consideration. If agreed to by the National Assembly, the Bill will be submitted to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence. It is not clear whether the NCOP will hold public hearings on the Bill. This will only become clear once the NCOP finalises its programme for processingthe Bill. Upon completion of the NCOP process, the Bill will be referred back to the National Assembly for final adoption by Parliament and the completion of the Parliamentary process, prior to onward submission to the Office of the State President for assent by the President.
ETHICORE will continue to closely monitor and observe the conclusion of the Parliamentary process. This include the NCOP programme for processing the Bill. Upon its completion, ETHICORE will conclude its closure reports on the Bill. Kindly feel free to contact us should you have any queries about the forthcoming Parliamentary process.
Download the version of the Bill adopted by the Committee here:
Financial Mkts Bill (b12-2012)_Version_05Sept2012