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Canadian Securities Regulatory Monitor News and Insight

Category Archives: Registrants

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Targeted Reforms Update – Most regulators abandon the “Best Interest Standard” but propose to proceed with refined “Targeted Reforms”

Posted in Advisors, Amendments, Broker-Dealers, Compliance and Supervision, CSA, IIROC, Industry News, MFDA, OSC, Registrants

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) issued CSA Staff Notice 33-319 (the Notice) to provide an update on the “Best Interest Standard” and “Targeted Reforms” proposed last year in an important CSA Consultation Paper that we discussed in a previous post.

Most regulators have decided to abandon the Best Interest Standard which would have introduced a “client best interest” standard against which all registrant-client obligations would be interpreted.

The CSA will still proceed with a refined set of Targeted Reforms. Even in the absence of a Best Interest Standard in most jurisdictions, the Targeted Reforms would nonetheless … Continue Reading

CSA Sets Out Priorities for 2016-2019

Posted in Advisors, Broker-Dealers, Compliance and Supervision, Continuous and Timely Disclosure, CSA, Enforcement, Exempt Market Dealers, Investment Funds, Mutual Funds, Registrants

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published on July 7, 2016 their priorities for the three-year period 2016 to 2019 under four categories: “Enhanced Investor Protection”, “Fair and Efficient Markets and Reduction of Risks to Market Integrity”, “Enhancement of Enforcement Effectiveness” and “Enhancement of Information Technology”.

The CSA states its strategic objectives without once mentioning the possible impact on it of the proposed national Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CCMRA) some of its members support. On July 22, it was announced that the CCMRA is expected to be operational in 2018.

Enhanced Investor Protection

The CSA proposes to … Continue Reading

Les propositions des ACVM concernant les personnes inscrites ont des effets très importants sur les courtiers et les conseillers au Canada

Posted in Advisors, Amendments, Broker-Dealers, Compliance and Supervision, CSA, IIROC, Industry News, MFDA, Registrants, Requests for Comment

Les Autorités canadiennes en valeurs mobilières (les ACVM) ont publié un important document de consultation dans lequel il est proposé de rehausser considérablement les obligations de tous les conseillers, courtiers et représentants, y compris les membres de l’OCRCVM et de l’ACFM (les personnes inscrites). Les commentaires sur ce document de consultation peuvent être présentés jusqu’au 26 août.… Continue Reading

Tomorrow, May 18, Registrants Will Receive the OSC’s 2016 Risk Assessment Questionnaire – What Will Your Firm’s Risk Rating Be?

Posted in Exempt Market Dealers, Industry News, Investment Funds, Mutual Funds, OSC, Portfolio Managers, Registrants

For the first time since 2014, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will send Ontario registrants a risk assessment questionnaire (RAQ) that must be completed by portfolio managers, investment fund managers, exempt market dealers, restricted portfolio managers and restricted dealers registered in Ontario. Registrants will receive the 2016 RAQ tomorrow, May 18.

The OSC uses data gathered through the RAQ to apply a risk ranking to firms. Firms with higher risk rankings are more likely to be targeted by the OSC for compliance reviews. As a result, it is important that the RAQ answers be considered … Continue Reading

CSA Registrant Proposals Have Far-Reaching Effects on Dealers and Advisers in Canada

Posted in Advisors, Amendments, Broker-Dealers, Compliance and Supervision, CSA, IIROC, Industry News, MFDA, Registrants, Requests for Comment

Recently, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) released an important Consultation Paper that proposes to significantly increase the obligations of all advisers, dealers and representatives, including IIROC and MFDA members (Registrants). Comments on the Consultation Paper can be made until August 26.

The CSA is proposing two distinct categories of changes that, if adopted, will significantly impact the economics of existing Registrant business models and Registrant compliance costs:

1. Best Interest Standard: A “client best interest” standard against which all Registrant-client obligations would be interpreted.

2. “Targeted Reforms”: A comprehensive set of so-called “targeted reforms” will affect … Continue Reading

OSC Sets Out Priorities for 2016-2017

Posted in Advisors, Broker-Dealers, Compliance and Supervision, Enforcement, Exempt Market Dealers, Mutual Funds, OSC, Registrants

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) released its draft Statement of Priorities for 2016-2017. The comment period ends May 9th.

Investor Protection Priorities

Advance Best Interest Standard – The OSC will recommend and conduct consultations on regulatory provisions to create a “best interest” standard for advisors. This standard is controversial for some industry participants but the OSC is committed to it. The OSC will also  continue to focus on advisor compensation practices and identify those that are inconsistent with a “best interest” standard.

Compensation Arrangements in Mutual Funds – The OSC will regulate embedded commissions and … Continue Reading

IIROC Announces Dealer Sweep on Compensation-Related Conflicts

Posted in Broker-Dealers, Compliance and Supervision, CSA, IIROC, Industry News, Marketplaces, Registrants, Uncategorized

On April 6, IIROC published Notice 16-0068 – Managing Conflicts in the Best Interest of the Client (the 2016 IIROC Notice). IIROC intends to strengthen compliance by Dealer Members (DMs) with IIROC’s conflicts of interest rules, with a particular focus on the management of compensation-related conflicts.

Specifically, IIROC announced that it will take the following actions:

  1. Immediately enhance its compliance test procedures to more closely examine compensation grids, supervisory oversight of advisors recommending products with high commissions, and the monitoring of advisors approaching compensation thresholds;
  2. By June 2016, conduct a comprehensive survey to gather more detailed information
Continue Reading

IIROC 2016 Compliance Priorities

Posted in Broker-Dealers, Compliance and Supervision, IIROC, Registrants

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”) is Canada’s self-regulatory organization that overseas investment dealers and equity market places. In its 2016 statement of key compliance priorities, IIROC sets out its ongoing efforts to strengthen the culture of compliance among dealer members (“DMs”).

As in prior years, IIROC’s focus will be on taking action against DMs that fail to address significant compliance findings and/or fail to demonstrate a commitment to the development of a strong compliance culture. In addition, IIROC will, through its new Consolidated Enforcement Rules (expected to come into force in 2016), have the ability to … Continue Reading

OSC Proposes Higher Financial Awards for Whistleblowers

Posted in Amendments, Compliance and Supervision, Enforcement, Industry News, OSC, Proposals, Registrants, Requests for Comment, SEC, Uncategorized

The OSC is close to adopting a proposed final version of its previously-announced whistleblowing policy (the Program). The Program would award eligible whistleblowers up to $5 million for reporting serious securities- or derivatives-related misconduct that leads to significant enforcement or settlement outcomes.

We summarized the original OSC consultation paper in a previous article. The OSC received comments on the consultation paper and also hosted a stakeholder roundtable on the proposals. Reporting issuers will want to re-examine their internal compliance and reporting systems, codes of conduct and employment agreements in light of the proposed program. Key features are summarized … Continue Reading

New OSC Fee Rules Come into Effect April 6

Posted in Amendments, Compliance and Supervision, Industry News, OSC, Registrants

Effective April 6, the OSC is implementing amendments to OSC Rule 13-502 – Fees (the “New Rule”). While largely consistent with the basic framework under the previous version of the fee rule (the “Old Rule”), the New Rule changes the basis for the calculation of participation fees by removing the use of a “reference fiscal year”, introduces nominal increases to certain activity fees, and introduces new management certification requirements for participation fee forms.

Participation Fees

The two main types of fees charged under the Old Rule are participation fees and activity fees. Participation fees are set … Continue Reading

OSC Offers Amnesty on Delinquent Outside Business Activity (“OBA”) Submissions

Posted in Continuous and Timely Disclosure, Industry News, OSC, Registrants

One of the items that frequently vexes registered firms is keeping their “outside business activities” (“OBA”) disclosure up to date. The Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) regards OBA disclosure as an important means for registrants to monitor for conflicts of interest. What constitutes OBA is very broad and includes volunteer unpaid board positions or other “positions of influence”. Some registered firms send out internal reminders to individuals asking them to keep the firm’s compliance department up to date on OBA disclosure. The OBA disclosure, however, must be updated within 10 days of a change and failure to … Continue Reading

OSC Proposes Large Financial Awards for Whistleblowers

Posted in Compliance and Supervision, Enforcement, Industry News, OSC, Proposals, Registrants, Requests for Comment, SEC

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is inviting comment for the next 90 days on a proposed comprehensive whistleblowing program (the Program) which would award eligible whistleblowers up to $1.5 million for reporting securities law misconduct that leads to significant enforcement or settlement orders.

Yesterday, the OSC published a consultation paper outlining the key features of the proposed whistleblowing program and seeking public input on various aspects of the proposals. During the next 90 days, the OSC will be accepting comments on the consultation paper and will host a roundtable with various stakeholders to discuss the proposals. Before … Continue Reading

The OSC’s 2014 Risk Assessment Questionnaire Exposes Registrants to Risk of Self-Incrimination

Posted in Exempt Market Dealers, Industry News, Investment Funds, Mutual Funds, OSC, Portfolio Managers, Registrants

For the first time in three years, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has sent Ontario registrants a risk assessment questionnaire that must be completed by portfolio managers, investment fund managers, exempt market dealers, restricted portfolio managers and restricted dealers registered in Ontario. The OSC intends to use the data gathered through the questionnaire to inform its decisions about “which firms require further attention and oversight”.

In some cases, the questionnaire may put recipient registrants at risk of admitting working capital deficiencies, inappropriate marketing practices and other potential violations. As a result, it is important that answers be considered carefully. The … Continue Reading

Indications : meilleures pratiques

Posted in Autorités canadiennes en valeurs mobilières, Compliance and Supervision, CSA, Exempt Market Dealers, Portfolio Managers, Registrants

Le 9 janvier 2014, les Autorités canadiennes en valeurs mobilières (« ACVM ») émettaient l’avis 31‑336 relativement aux obligations de connaissance du client, de connaissance du produit et d’évaluation de la convenance au client.

Cet avis est à l’intention des gestionnaires de portefeuille, des courtiers sur le marché dispensés et des autres personnes inscrites.

Dans un premier temps, les ACVM rappellent que les obligations de connaissance du du client, du produit et d’évaluation de la convenance au client sont fondamentales et sont au cœur du régime de protection des investisseurs.

L’avis 31-336 fait suite à diverses inspections et conclusions résultant … Continue Reading

OSC Reports on 2012 Compliance Experience

Posted in Compliance and Supervision, Continuous and Timely Disclosure, Exempt Market Dealers, Investment Funds, OSC, Portfolio Managers, Registrants

The OSC has released its 2012 compliance report (OSC Staff Notice 33-738) on dealers, advisers and investment fund managers. This report reflects the increasing importance ascribed by the OSC to registrant practices and registration issues. The report also allows licensed securities businesses to benchmark their practices against regulatory expectations.

Directly and through self-regulatory organizations, the OSC oversees 1,300 firms and 66,000 individuals. The OSC follows a risk-based approach to compliance assessments (p. 35). For the last two years, over 80% of compliance reviews have resulted in requirements for enhanced or significantly enhanced compliance by registrants (p. 36).… Continue Reading

Canadian Securities Regulatory Requirements Applicable to Non-Resident Broker-Dealers, Advisers and Investment Fund Managers

Posted in Advisors, Broker-Dealers, CSA, Enforcement, Exempt Market Dealers, Investment Funds, Portfolio Managers, Registrants, Registration

The purpose of this paper is to provide a non-resident of Canada with an overview of the dealer registration, adviser registration, investment fund manager registration and prospectus requirements that should be considered and addressed by the non-resident before it begins to trade securities with, or provide investment advice to, any person or company located in Canada, or to act as an investment fund manager in Canada. All currency amounts that are referred to in this paper are denominated in Canadian dollars.

The Canadian Securities Regulatory Framework

Like the United States, Canada has a federal system of government whereby the authority … Continue Reading