Confidence in the capital markets has lifted in the past year, a Financial Markets Authority survey has found, but the regulator's boss says more work is needed on repairing the damage to investor trust caused by finance company collapses.
The survey found 70 per cent of middle income earners - those making between $50,000 and $100,000 a year - were confident, an increase of 13 percentage points on last year.
Overall confidence rose five percentage points to 59 per cent, but confidence among lower income earners ($20,000 to $50,000) fell from 52 per cent last year to 49 per cent this year.
FMA chief executive Rob Everett said a rising sharemarket, strengthening economy and new stock exchange listings had contributed to the rising overall confidence.
"KiwiSaver has also started to open up some minds to the investment world and markets generally," he said.
But the collapse of 46 finance companies between 2006 and 2011 - which affected around $6 billion in investments and 200,000 investors - was far from forgotten, Everett said.
"We've done all of our enforcement, which I think has been successful ... but I think it might take some time to completely move past some of those issues."