24 May 2010

New agency expected to boost investor confidence

7:26 am on 24 May 2010

The head of an international standards board says the establishment of a financial markets agency in New Zealand, will boost investor confidence and bring the nation in line with international best practice.

International Auditing & Assurance Standards Board chair Arnold Schilder of New York visited New Zealand recently to speak with industry professionals and regulators.

In October, New Zealand became the first country to apply the full suite of new international auditing standards and Professor Schilder says that was an important step to helping companies play a global role in international business.

But Professor Schilder, who was previously on the managing board of the central bank in Holland, says the establishment of a financial markets authority is also needed.

When it's established next year, the agency will take over work currently carried out by the Securities Commission, Ministry of Economic Development and the NZX.

Professor Schilder says the quality of the legislation behind the agency will be crucial to its success.

He says how effective the agency is, will depend on how it is organised and how it engages with the professions and institutes.

Professor Schilder says financial oversight needs to be carried out in an independent way, but it also needs to be understood by and helpful to the profession so it can learn from inspections.