From the Regulators

Regulatory deadlines and updates for financial professionals. New this update: fintech, blockchain, illiquid assets and much more

By IE Staff |

Updated to Feb 10.

Investment Executive editors have prepared this listing of upcoming regulatory deadlines of interest to financial advisors, with links to further information. Deadlines are listed by date and grouped by month, based on the calendar year.

A changing selection of ongoing initiatives that may be of interest to advisors appears at the bottom of the calendar list, under the headings Tax and Bring Forward.

The calendar will be updated weekly each Monday, with additions made in the current week flagged with the notation, New or Updated. Recent, past deadlines are retained for one month.

New entries can be found in May and Bring Forward.

Click here to review 2016's Compliance Calendar for Advisors.

We welcome submissions to the calendar. Please email us at:







Early January
Bank of England

Settlement system to open to non-banks
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, announced that the U.K. central bank will expand direct access to its settlement system to non-bank payment providers. New regime to be in force.



Final capital rules for mortgage insurers released
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada released the final version of new capital requirements for mortgage insurers. The new requirements take effect on Jan. 1, 2017.



New fee model for corporate debt securities
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada proposed a fee model for the information processor for corporate debt securities to recover the self-regulatory organization's costs of operating the information processor. Comments close.



Membership disclosure obligations to increase
Starting next year, investment dealers will have to provide clients with more prominent disclosure of their membership in the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, IIROC announced.
Final rules step up firms' disclosure obligations, including requirements for firms to display the IIROC logo at their offices, to provide clients with brochures from the self-regulatory organization (SRO), and links to the IIROC website and the advisor check services. Rules in force.

10 CSA

Paper on ban for embedded fees pushed back
The Canadian Securities Administrators delayed plans to consider a possible ban on embedded mutual fund commissions, such as trailer fees. Although the CSA had promised to publish a consultation paper proposing reforms to the existing mutual fund fee structures by the end of 2016, the paper won't be released until Jan. 10, 2017. It will then go out for an extended comment period of 150 days.


Fintechs applications to become special purpose banks
The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will begin considering applications from fintech firms to become chartered as special purpose national banks.

16 OSC

OTC derivatives trade reporting
The Ontario Securities Commission published a set of final amendments to its rule that requires derivatives trades to be reported to trade repositories. The amendments will push back the public dissemination of derivatives data to Jan. 16, 2017.


Deadline for comment on OEO extended
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada gave the   industry an extra month to consider the implications of proposed new guidance that would allow firms providing retail investors with order execution to also supply a limited form of advice. Comments now due.

23 AB, MB, NB

New rules to treat minority shareholders fairly
Securities regulators in Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick have proposed measures to protect minority shareholders when companies engage in transactions that may give rise to conflicts, such as insider bids and related-party deals. Comments on the proposals, which already exist in Ontario and Quebec, are due Jan. 23.


Regulation of financial planner title
The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada is proposing new measures that would regulate whether reps can hold themselves out as a "financial planner". It published for comment proposed rule amendments that would set minimum proficiency requirements for mutual fund reps that want to identify themselves as financial planners. Comments close.





MOU signed on registration and licensing issues
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Alberta Insurance Council signed a memorandum of understanding which takes effect Feb. 1. They agreed to inform each other when they refuse to register or license an individual who is registered or licensed with the other regulator, or when an investigation is opened concerning an individual who is jointly registered.


New advisory committee on proficiency issues seeks members
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada is launching a new advisory committee to focus on proficiency issues for individual industry members. Applications for membership close.


Guidance on OEO firms deadline extended
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada is providing a second extension to the comment period on proposed guidance on order-execution only firms issued in November 2016. IIROC has further extended the comment period until Feb. 3.


10 FSB

Proposed guidance on resolution standards for big banks
The Financial Stability Board issued two proposals for consultation setting out guidance on its resolution standards for systemically important banks as part of the global effort to end "too big to fail" policies in the banking sector. Comments on the proposals close.


Risks to retail clients of OTC leveraged products flagged
In a report, the International Organization of Securities Commissions raised alarms about complex, leveraged over-the-counter products being sold to retail investors. Comments on the report are due.

27 CSA

Regulator roundtable on cybersecurity
The Canadian Securities Administrators announced that its upcoming cybersecurity roundtable will examine two scenarios "designed to explore how participants, individually and as a group, would respond in the event of a cyber incident." The event on Feb. 27 will take place at the Ontario Securities Commission's office in Toronto.



Clarity on money laundering risks
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published proposals to give banks more clarity on how to best manage risks related to money laundering and terrorism financing.

27 CSA

Cybersecurity roundtable planned for 2017
The Canadian Securities Administrators announced plans for a roundtable discussion to take place in the New Year to examine cybersecurity issues in the securities industry.


Draft guideline on model risk management issued
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada released for comment a draft guideline to enhance banks' management of the risks posed by their reliance on internal models. The draft guideline sets out the federal banking regulator's views on the use of enterprise-wide risk management models. Comments on the guideline are due.




March AMF

Binary options ban proposed
The Autorité des marchés financiers is proposing draft rules that would prohibit the offering of binary options to investors in Quebec. Regulators have warned investors repeatedly against trading in these instruments, which are often likened more to gambling than investing, and typically involve dealing with unregistered, offshore firms. The proposals are out for a 30-day comment period.

1 BoC

Foreign exchange rate data
The Bank of Canada is planning changes to the foreign exchange rate data that it publishes. Changes take effect.

13 FSB

Risk guidance for central counterparties
The Financial Stability Board published draft guidance to prevent central counterparties, a critical part of financial market infrastructure, from developing into a source of systemic risk. Comments on the draft close.

17 ESAs

Consultation on risks and benefits of big data
The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities launched a public consultation about the potential benefits and risks of big data for consumers and financial firms to determine whether any further regulatory or supervisory actions may be needed. Comments on the consultation close.


Shift to principles-based approach proposed
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada proposed a set of rule amendments to introduce a principles-based approach, which would give firms more flexibility to develop policies and procedures for trading supervision. Comments close.

31 FCA

U.K. seeks comment on changes to compensation funding
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority proposed changes to its Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), a financial backstop for customers of financial services firms that suffer harm due to investment industry misconduct. Comments due.




April 4


New rules for OTC derivatives market
The Canadian Securities Administrators has adopted two new sets of rules to bolster the stability of over-the-counter derivatives markets. The CSA's rule requiring mandatory central counterparty clearing of certain derivatives will take effect April 4, while a rule regarding customer clearing and collateral will come into force July 3.

10 CSA

Cut to trading fee cap on domestic securities
The Canadian Securities Administrators is reducing the cap on active trading fees for securities that are only traded in Canada to 0.017¢ a share from 0.3¢ a share. Meanwhile, the cap on interlisted stocks will remain at 0.3¢ a share and the cap for securities trading at below $1 a share will remain at 0.04¢ a share. The new caps come into effect April 10, with firms given until May 15 to make the changes.






U.K. launches consultation on illiquid assets in mutual funds
The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority seeks feedback on a discussion paper that reviews retail investors gaining exposure to illiquid assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, through open-ended funds, such as mutual funds. Comments close.






New guidance on operational risk released
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions released the final version of its new, consolidated guidance outlining its expectations for federally regulated financial services institutions, such as banks and life insurers, in managing their various forms of operational risk, giving banks a year to comply with the new requirements.




Embedded fee consultation
The Canadian Securities Administrators published a long-awaited consultation paper that contemplates a ban on embedded commissions structures. Comments on the paper close.



Further Ahead

July 3 OSFI

New rules for OTC derivatives market
The Canadian Securities Administrators has adopted two new sets of rules to bolster the stability of over-the-counter derivatives markets. The CSA's rule requiring mandatory central counterparty clearing of certain derivatives will take effect April 4, while a rule regarding customer clearing and collateral will come into force July 3.

Sep. 1 CSA

Standard deviation to be used for fund risk
The Canadian Securities Administrators finalized measures that will require fund managers to start using a standardized methodology for determining the investment risk level reported in the Fund Facts and the newly introduced ETF Facts disclosure documents given to investors. The new requirements would come into effect on March 8, 2017. Firms must begin using the method by Sept. 1, 2017.

Sept. 5 CSA Transition to T+2 settlement cycle
The securities industry should be preparing for the transition to shorter settlement cycles in the fall of 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators says in a staff notice. The CSA sent a letter to Canadian firms regarding the planned move to T + 2 (trade date plus two days) settlement. The letter aims to alert firms to the plan to adopt T+2 settlement on Sept. 5, 2017, on the same timeline at the U.S. capital markets.
Dec. 15 FASB

Accounting standards revised
The U.S.-based Financial Accounting Standards Board issued an accounting standards update to provide investors with more useful information. New standards in force.



New rules for commodities markets
The European Commission announced measures to strengthen the regulation of commodities markets and curtail price speculation. Rules take effect.

Jan. 1,

Higher loan loss provisions coming for banks
International Accounting Standards Board issues new loan loss provisions for banks using "expected-loss" approach. Changes come into force.




Dec. 9, 2016


Test for rectification modified
A recent decision from the SCC ( AG (Canada) v. Fairmont Hotels Inc.) has modified the test for rectification. The taxpayer must have suffered an unintended and adverse result.


Bring Forward

A changing selection of ongoing initiatives which may be of interest to advisors.

Feb. 9 BCSC

Investors may sell cease-traded securities back to dealers
The B.C. Securities Commission will allow investors in British Columbia to sell cease-traded securities back to their investment dealers under certain conditions. The measures will mean cost savings for dealers, and provide relief for investors.

Feb. 9 CSA

Exchange-traded derivatives markets
The Canadian Securities Administrators published a notice that reviews efforts to enhance segregation and portability arrangements for exchange-traded derivatives markets, particularly the commodities and financial futures markets.

Feb. 8 IOSCO

Fintech and regulatory risk
Among other issues, a new report from the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) notes that the emergence of fintech is likely to give rise to new kinds of regulatory risk.

Feb. 7 ESMA

Too early to regulate blockchain
A new report from the European Securities and Markets Authority concludes that it's too soon for any regulatory action on blockchain, given that the technology, which is widely seen as a potential replacement for various back-office processes such as clearing and settlement systems, remains at an early stage.

Feb. 7 IOSCO

Benchmark reforms need more work
The International Organization of Securities Commissions says more needs to be done to implement reforms to the creation and operation of financial benchmarks: these benchmarks were adopted in response to manipulation scandals.

Feb. 3 SEC

Alt-mutual fund warning issued to investors
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published a bulletin that highlights the features and risks of "alternative mutual funds." These "alt funds" hold non-traditional investments, or use complex investment and trading strategies, which represent added risks to investors, the bulletin says. In Canada, securities regulators are currently considering rule changes that would enhance retail investor access to alternative investments.

Feb. 3 US DOL

Dodd-Frank/ Fiduciary Rule for advisors likely to weaken
U.S. President Donald Trump signed orders ordering the Treasury Secretary to review the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law. He also signed a presidential memorandum instructing the U.S. Labor Department to delay implementing a new rule that requires financial professionals to put their clients' best interests first when giving advice on retirement investments. To take effect in April, the rule will be delayed for 90 days while it's reviewed.

Feb. 2 OSC

New website to help clients with CRM2
The Ontario Securities Commission launched a new website to help investors understand their new annual reports that include the costs of investing and portfolio performance as part of the second phase of the client relationship model reforms.

Feb. 1 MFDA

Signature falsification flagged
The mutual fund dealer business is still plagued by representatives falsifying client signatures in one way or another, according to an updated notice from Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada staff.

Jan. 31 OSC

New members for SPAC
The Ontario Securities Commission announced that its Securities Proceedings Advisory Committee will include five new members. They join seven other Bay Street lawyers who are still serving on the SPAC along with three members of the OSC's enforcement branch and three members of the OSC's Office of the Secretary, including Grace Knakowski, the secretary to the OSC who also chairs the SPAC.

Jan. 26 CSA

Integrity of proxy voting process
The Canadian Securities Administrators set out guidance for  tabulation of proxy votes. The voluntary protocols set out expectations on the responsibilities of firms that handle meeting vote reconciliation.

Jan. 26 OSC

Fintech Advisory Committee members announced
The Ontario Securities Commission announced the first members of its Fintech Advisory Committee. Committee members will serve one-year terms and advise staff on developments in the financial technology (fintech) market.

Jan. 25 MFDA

Recent cases on suitability reviewed to provide guidance
A new paper from the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada reviews enforcement cases brought against advisors involving questions of suitability: these issues remain at the heart of conduct standards for the Canadian investment industry.

Jan. 23 BCSC

Investors not aware of fees: CRM2-linked study
Initial results of a three-part research project from the B.C.  Securities Commission  to assess the impact of the new annual cost reports required under the second phase of the client relationship model reforms were released. The first phase of the research, conducted on behalf of the BCSC this past November and December, found that 28% of survey participants don't know how their advisors are paid while 36% are not familiar with the types of fees they pay.

Jan. 23 OSC

Advisors need more training for risk assessments
Securities regulators should look at bolstering standards and training for assessing investors' risk tolerance, according to a report published from the Ontario Securities Commission's (OSC) Investor Advisory Panel (IAP). The research, carried out by PlanPlus Inc., found that most risk-profiling questionnaires are not "fit for purpose" and aren't capable of identifying risk-averse investors.

Jan. 19 CSA

Issuers called on to improve reporting of cybersecurity risks
A new review of issuer disclosure from three of Canada's largest provincial securities commissions finds that most firms aren't yet providing much specific information about their cybersecurity efforts and possible breaches.

Jan. 19 OBSI

New enforcement powers to be considered
The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments will consider new enforcement powers amid a variety of strategic initiatives. OBSI published a new strategic plan to "explore and evaluate alternatives" to its existing "name and shame" enforcement power, among other matters.

Jan. 17 MSC

Investors warned about RRSP stripping scams
The Manitoba Securities Commission warned investors about so-called "RRSP stripping" scams in advance of an investment seminar scheduled for Jan. 21 that raised "a number of associated red flags," the MSC said in a statement prior to the seminar. The MSC statement noted that the event announcement featured a speaker, Sunil Tulsiani, "under cease-trade orders in Ontario and Manitoba and [who is] currently charged with securities offences in Ontario.'

Jan. 12 FSB

Proposals to benefit global asset managers
Global asset managers will likely benefit from policy proposals from the Financial Stability Board that aim to address systemic risk concerns in the asset-management sector, a new report from Moody's Investors Service Inc. suggests.

Jan. 12 FSB

Systemic risks and asset management
The Financial Stability Board published a package of 14 policy recommendations to combat potential financial stability risks in the asset-management business, including excessive leverage, liquidity mismatches, securities lending, operational risk, and the challenges asset managers face in stressed conditions.

Jan. 10 IIROC

CRM2 reporting exemptions granted
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada is granting exemptions from new annual cost and performance reporting requirements under the second phase of the client relationship model reforms for certain firms for which this type of reporting is redundant or otherwise unnecessary.