From the Regulators

Regulatory deadlines and updates for financial professionals. New this update: new IIROC CE rules coming into force and much more

By IE Staff |

Updated to Dec. 01.

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 deadlines can be found in December, January 2018 and Further Ahead.

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

We welcome submissions to the calendar. Please email us at: pchisholm@investmentexecutive.com.

Editor's note: Explore the calendar using your computer or tablet.






 

 

 

 

DEADLINES

November

1 OFSI

Banking risk model published
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions published a final guideline that sets out its expectations for managing and controlling the use of internal risk models by financial institutions. Some banks must comply by Nov. 1, while others will have until 2019.

1 FCAC

New Supervision Framework published
The consumer-oriented agency has published its new Supervision Framework, which will apply to federally regulated bodies, such as banks, external complaints bodies and payment card network operators, as of November 1. The new regime is intended to provide greater protection for consumers who use financial services and to promote financial literacy. Blakes LLP has a summary of the new regime on its website: 

6

EBA

Impact of regulatory sandboxes to be studied
The European Banking Authority published a discussion paper setting out its work so far on the emerging fintech sector. The EBA says it's "stepping up" its work on fintech-related issues "to investigate the impact of fintech on the financial system and its regulation and supervision." Comments on the paper are due by Nov. 6.

13

OSC

Comment period closes on Nasdaq application
New York-based Nasdaq Inc. has applied to operate an exchange in Canada, a move that could bring foreign competition to a market currently dominated by the TMX Group. Comments on the proposal close Nov. 13.

13

IIROC

Client identifiers to be reviewed
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada launched a consultation on rules that would require dealers to identify clients involved with each trade. The rules would require client identifiers on each order sent to a marketplace, and for each reportable trade in a debt security. For institutional clients, dealers would have to provide a legal entity identifier (LEI); for retail clients that wouldn't have an LEI, dealers would need to supply an account number to identify these sorts of clients. Comments close.

28 BCSC

BCSC to hold regtech hackathon
The British Columbia Securities Commission will sponsor a regulatory technology (regtech) hackathon planned in Vancouver. The one-day event will be part of a conference hosted by the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada on Nov. 28.

     

 

December

4 CSA

New custody rules for exempt market dealers (EMDs)
The Canadian Securities Administrators published rule changes designed to enhance custody requirements for firms such as EMDs that are directly regulated by the provincial securities commissions. New rules in force.

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.

18
New

CFTC

Bitcoin futures to begin trading
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (CME) and the CBOE Futures Exchange are launching new contracts for bitcoin futures products, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced. The launch date of CBOE's bitcoin futures, which will trade under the ticker symbol XB, will be announced shortly. CME is planning to list its bitcoin futures contract on Dec. 18.

22 OSC

Fintech committee members sought
The Ontario Securities Commission is seeking applications for membership on its fintech advisory committee. The committee advises staff of the regulator's in-house financial technology unit, OSC LaunchPad, about "developments in the fintech space and the unique challenges faced by innovative businesses in the securities industry."

22

OSFI

Draft governance guideline, comment sought
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions issued draft changes to its Corporate Governance Guideline for public consultation. The revisions aim to update and consolidate OSFI's expectations for boards of federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs). Comments are due by Dec. 22.

31  

Federal government reviewing rules
A group of experts is considering whether a niche should be carved out of the tax system to unlock billions in private cash for a range of programs that could help the homeless get off the street or boost the incomes of Indigenous Peoples. Online consultations on the strategy close Dec. 31.

     

 

January 2018

January

EC

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

1
New
IIROC

New CE rules coming into force
New continuing education (CE) rules that the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada will adopt in January will shorten the CE cycle for investment dealers to two years. The self-regulatory organization says the Canadian Securities Administrators have approved new IIROC CE rules, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

     

 

Further Ahead

Feb. 2
2018
New

FSB

Comments sought on ‘too big to fail'
The Financial Stability Board released a pair of consultation papers that propose new guidance to guard against moral hazard by enabling the resolution of banks that would otherwise be considered "too big to fail". Comments are due Feb. 2.

Feb. 9
2018

 

Audit standard-setting reforms, comments sought
A group of global policymakers issued a consultation paper setting out ways to enhance the governance, accountability and oversight of the international audit standard-setting process. Comments are due by Feb. 9, 2018.

Feb. 9
2018
Monitoring
Grou
p

Reforms proposed for audit standard setting
The Monitoring Group — which includes the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the Financial Stability Board, and International Association of Insurance Supervisors, along with other groups — has issued a consultation paper on options for enhancing the independence, relevance, and transparency of international audit standard setting. Comments close Feb. 18, 2018.

Jan. 1,
2018
OSFI

New rules for homebuyers in force
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is moving ahead with a new stress test for home buyers who don't need mortgage insurance, who will soon have to prove they can make their payments if interest rates rise. The move is expected to reduce the maximum amount buyers will be able to borrow to buy a home, even if they have a down payment of 20' or more, starting Jan. 1.

Jan. 25,
2018

CSA

Consultation on director independence launched
A new consultation paper from the Canadian Securities Administrators reviews its current approach to the independence of directors and audit committees. Feedback on the consultation is due by Jan. 25.

Jan. 1
2019
FINRA

"Final rule" designed to prevent mass unravelling of contracts in crisis
U.S. banking regulators adopted a "final rule" that aims to guard against systemic risk posed by the failure of a financial institution that is highly interconnected with other firms. The new rule will be phased in, beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

Jan.1
2019
OSFI Basel 111 deadline extended
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is giving Canadian banks an extra year to comply with new liquidity requirements under the new capital adequacy rules known as Basel III.
 

July 9
2019
New

US DOL

Fiduciary rule enforcement delayed
U.S. authorities have formally delayed enforcement of certain aspects of the fiduciary rule that was adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) earlier this year. The DOL announced an 18-month extension that will extend the transition period for certain provisions of the rule from Jan. 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019.

     

 

Tax

Nov. 28 BC

Residential occupancy tax could be problematic on sale
Law firm Thorsteinssons has flagged potential issues for clients who buy and sell homes in Vancouver after 2017. The issue of who may be liable for the tax, the buyer or the seller, could be difficult to resolve under the current rule. The firm has a summary on its website.

Late March CRA

Access to tax accrual working papers
The Federal Court of Appeal ruled in late March that the Minister of National Revenue does not have "general and unrestricted" access to taxpayer documents that identify uncertain tax positions.

Mar. 27 CRA

International tax compliance guidance
The Canada Revenue Agency posted updated guidance to streamline and harmonize, where possible, compliance requirements associated with both the Common Reporting Standard and the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

Mar. 21 Tax Court

New Housing Rebate, proving residence
Another recent decision from the Tax Court of Canada indicates that small details may make a big difference when it comes to claiming tax breaks for a primary residence, in this case the New Housing Rebate.

Mar. 13 CRA

Scrutiny of homeowner-based tax benefits rising
The trend toward greater official scrutiny of tax breaks designed to benefit homebuyers means financial advisors may want to caution clients who purchase residential properties about the conditions for claiming these breaks — and the new importance of supporting documentation.

Mar. 3 BCSC

Application for rectification dismissed
Thorsteinssons law firm notes that a recent decision from the Supreme Court of British Columbia has rendered a decision that applies the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Fairmont Hotels case, which has altered some of the rules in applications for rectification.

     

 

Bring Forward

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

Nov. 30 OSFI

Final version of CAR guideline released
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions released the final version of the capital adequacy requirements (CAR) guideline, and confirmed its plans for future changes to the capital adequacy framework.

Nov. 28 ASIC

Expert to review new Australia disclosure regime
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission appointed Darren McShane, a former Hong Kong pensions regulator, to conduct a review of fee and costs disclosure to consumers in the country's superannuation scheme and other investments.

Nov. 24 OSFI

LICAT guideline to take effect January
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) on Friday published the final version of its capital rules for federally regulated life insurers. Known as the Life Insurance Capital Adequacy Test (LICAT) guideline, the rules are slated to take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Nov. 23 IOSCO

New guidance for termination of investment funds
New guidance for asset managers aims to protect investors when a firm decides to wind up an investment fund. The International Organization of Securities Commissions published a report that sets out good practices for firms when they voluntarily terminate investment funds.

Nov. 22 IIROC

Exemption granted for mutual fund reps
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada issued an exemption to allow investment dealers that employ mutual fund reps to also allow certain reps to trade in exempt securities. Historically, IIROC has allowed investment dealers to employ mutual fund-only reps for up to 270 days, ostensibly while they upgrade their proficiency to full-service status.

Nov. 16 AMF

Reps' business relationships to be probed
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) will collect additional data on registrants' practices and relationships with different industry stakeholders.The AMF will ask for further information about firms' and individuals' business relationships as part of the ongoing registration process. This includes information on referral arrangements and commission sharing agreements, along with information on complaints and disciplinary actions.

Nov. 16

FAIR
Canada

Elder abuse flagged
Investment firms and advisors should be recruited into the fight against the exploitation of vulnerable investors, particularly seniors, recommends a new report from the Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Investor Rights (FAIR Canada) and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL).

Nov. 16 OSC

Province moves to regulate financial planners
Ontario's provincial government reiterated its pledge to regulate financial planners, establish a co-operative national securities regulator and bolster the Ontario Securities Commission's role in guarding against systemic risk and overseeing syndicated mortgages in its autumn update.

Nov. 9 SIFMA

Cybersecurity drill conducted in U.S.
A recent cybersecurity drill has demonstrated that defending against a crippling cyberattack on the U.S. securities industry requires dedicated co-operation among the industry, regulators and the government.

Nov. 8 FSCO

Compliance exams revamp
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario is launching a new process for its compliance examinations of insurance advisors this autumn. The regulator will begin conducting "desk reviews" — questionnaires that aim to help the regulator determine which advisors require a more in-depth compliance review — prior to conducting onsite exams. Advisors who receive an email or letter regarding the desk review are required to complete the questionnaire and submit it to FSCO by email within 15 business days. Those who fail to complete the questionnaire could face disciplinary action.

Nov. 7 MFDA

Signature falsification still a problem
The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada says some financial advisors are falsifying client signatures, and the self-regulatory organization is warning advisors about the consequences of engaging in this practice.

Nov. 6 Comp. Bureau

Fintech innovation
The Competition Bureau released the draft report on its market study concerning technology‑led innovation in the Canadian financial services (fintech) sector in a variety of market segments, including payments, crowdfunding, and investment advice.

Nov. 1 FSB

AI systems could raise risks
The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning by financial firms could enhance the efficiency of the financial system, but it also creates the potential for new systemic risks by intensifying interconnectedness and increasing firms' reliance on opaque models, says a new report from the Financial Stability Board.

Oct. 30 OBSI

Banking complaints up, investment complaints down
Complaints about banking are up, but investment complaints are down, according to new data from the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments.

Oct. 30 NASAA

Financial abuse highlighted
The North American Securities Administrators Association released a new publication warning of possible financial abuse by guardians assigned to oversee financial matters of individuals no longer able to do so for themselves. The notice lists key flags of such abuse.

Oct. 23 OSC

Regulatory relief granted to first initial coin offering
The Ontario Securities Commission approved Ontario's first-ever regulated initial coin offering (ICO). Under the Canadian Securities Administrators' "regulatory sandbox", the OSC granted regulatory relief to Toronto-based Token Funder Inc., which will exempt the firm from the dealer registration requirements, and allow it to carry out an ICO under existing prospectus exemptions.

Oct. 19 CSA

More than half of firms experience cybersecurity incident
More than half of registered firms have faced some sort of cyber incident in the past year, according to a survey conducted by the Canadian Securities Administrators.

Oct. 16 ASC

Credit for co-operation
The Alberta Securities Commission published a new policy on providing credit for co-operation in enforcement cases, with the goal of encouraging self-reporting of possible securities law violations.

Oct. 13 OSC

AI discussed at OSC panel
Artificial intelligence could be used to nudge clients toward smart financial decisions or to exploit their ignorance, according to experts who participated in a panel discussion at the Ontario Securities Commission's annual policy conference in Toronto.

Oct. 6 FSB

Monitoring of international financial system risks to include cybersecurity
The Financial Stability Board, chaired by Canadian Mark Carney, will undertake an evaluation of the impact of its international post-financial crisis reforms on financial intermediation, along with other international standards setters. It is also reviewing the incentives for central clearing of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, an initiative that will conclude in late 2018. The FSB is also monitoring new and emerging risks, including cybersecurity, misconduct risks, and market-based finance, among other things.

Oct. 2 BCSC

Fee disclosure not enough for less confident investors
New disclosure on the costs of investing is helping prompt action from already-confident investors but less-confident investors are not following through with action, despite being better informed, according to a study commissioned by the British Columbia Securities Commission.

Sept. 28 Global regulators

Unique product identifiers guidance issued
Global banking and securities regulators on issued guidance on the adoption of unique product identifiers designed to improve the transparency of the over-the-counter derivatives markets.

Sept. 28 CSA

Binary options ban implemented
The Canadian Securities Administrators announced the implementation of a rule that makes it illegal to advertise or trade binary options with individual investors.

Sept. 27 NASAA

Growing use of fee disclosure model
U.S. brokerage firms are increasingly adopting an approach to fee disclosure proposed by the North American Securities Administrators Association, in an effort to improve disclosure to clients.

Sept. 25 NASAA

Advisors show cybersecurity deficiencies
A series of more than 1,200 co-ordinated examinations of state-registered investment advisors by state securities examiners uncovered nearly 700 deficiencies involving cybersecurity, the North American Securities Administrators Association announced.

Sept. 21 CSA

Cybersecurity review announced
Following the discovery of a breach of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's regulatory filing system for public companies, the Canadian Securities Administrators announced the launch of its own cybersecurity review. There is "no evidence that the CSA's national systems have been compromised," the CSA says in its announcement.

Sept. 21 BCSC

Crowdfunding rules updated
The British Columbia Securities Commission announced changes to its crowdfunding rules, raising investment limits and allowing companies to access investors in Alberta. The changes permit an increased investment, for investors that pass a suitability check by a registered dealer, of up to $5,000.

Sept. 21 OSC

Corporate disclosure shortcomings flagged
Corporate issuers continue to have trouble fully meeting their disclosure obligations to investors, according to a report from the Ontario Securities Commission's corporate finance branch.

Sept. 15 CSA/
MFDA

Clean bill of health issued
By stepping up enforcement against reps that falsify client signatures, and ramping up disciplinary action against dealers for supervisory failures, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada has earned a clean bill of health from the provincial regulators.

Sept. 14 SEC

Investors cautioned over misleading designations
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issued an investor bulletin to warn retail investors about dubious professional awards, and similar marketing efforts, that may be used to confuse or deceive investors. An Ontario report recently called for the review and standardization of designations used by financial advisors.

Sept. 12 ESMA

Negative effect of fund fees on returns noted
The negative impact of mutual fund fees on investor returns is highlighted in a report published Tuesday from the European Securities and Markets Authority.

Sept. 12 IIROC/
FCAC

Information to be shared
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding  in a bid to strengthen investor protection.

Sept. 11 FINRA

Investor caution on initial coin offerings issued in U.S.
The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority  issued an investor alert warning about the potential risks of initial coin offerings (ICOs). Both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian Securities Administrators have recently published reports setting out their approach to ICOs, which involve companies raising capital through the issuance of virtual coins or tokens.

Sept. 5 MFDA

Rule changes to be proposed
The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada will propose rule changes later this year to keep its own rules in line with provincial securities rules, according to an MFDA bulletin.

Aug. 29 CCIR

Next steps on seg fund disclosure
The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators will publish a position paper this autumn outlining its specific recommendations and expectations pertaining to seg funds, including disclosure requirements similar to those for mutual funds.

Aug. 28 IIROC

Fees to stay flat for next year
Regulation fees for investment dealers are expected to stay flat for the coming year, even as regulatory costs for the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada are expected to rise by about $1 million, according to the latest IIROC forecasts.

Aug. 24 CSA

Cryptocurrencies will be regulated like securities
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) indicates in a staff notice that many of the new cryptocurrency offerings — also known as initial coin offerings (ICOs) or initial token offerings (ITOs) —meet the definition of securities and must comply with traditional securities law.

Aug. 21 NASAA

Seniors and fraud
Most fraud against seniors likely goes undiscovered, suggests a survey of state securities regulators by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). The survey finds that 97% of regulators surveyed feel that most cases of senior financial fraud "go undetected rather than being discovered before they cause serious problems."

Aug. 10 FPSC/
OSC

Agreement to co-operate and share information
The Ontario Securities Commission and the Financial Planning Standards Council, the standard-setting organization for financial planners, are pledging to co-operate and share information.

Aug. 3 CSA

Changes for T+2 considered
Although current trade processing practices should be adequate to allow the Canadian industry to move to a T+2 settlement cycle as planned in September, the Canadian Securities Administrators are considering whether to require real-time trade reporting by exchanges, rather than end-of-day reporting, to help ease the process.

July 28 FCA

Moving away from LIBOR
The financial services sector should be planning for a transition to alternative interest rate benchmarks based on actual transactions over the next four to five years, according to the CEO of the FCA.

July 27 CSA

Focus on conflict of interest transactions
Regulators in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick published their approach to reviewing corporate transactions that involve a material conflict of interest — such as insider bids, issuer bids and related party transactions — in which the interests of minority shareholders could be adversely impacted.

July 26 NASAA

Rule to address improper access to client logins
The North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. is proposing an amendment designed to address financial advisors' improper access to clients' accounts.

July 26 SEC

Blockchain subject to securities regulations
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued an investigative report — and  investor alert — advising that it views offers of digital assets utilizing blockchain technology as securities; and that the offerings may be subject to securities law.

June 16 Fin Can

Proposed rules for bail in regime published
The Department of Finance Canada published a set of proposed rules in the Canada Gazette  that would establish the details of a "bail-in" regime in the event one of the large Canadian banks runs into financial trouble.

June 15 NASAA

Reducing harm to elder investors
Most U.S. brokerage firms have procedures for reporting possible instances of financial abuse of their senior clients, according to report published Thusday by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

June 13 IOSCO

Measures to combat wholesale market misconduct
A report from the International Organization of Securities Commissions task force on wholesale market conduct sets out measures that regulators around the world are taking to prevent and sanction misconduct in markets that tend to be particularly opaque, and pose certain conflicts of interest. It aims to provide regulators with tools to help address these risks in their own markets.

June 2 IFIC

No unanimity on reform among global regulators
A new Investment Funds Institute of Canada report concludes there's no unanimity among global regulators on the optimal way to reform investment industry regulation. IFIC's report, Global Trends in Financial Services Regulation, explored recent reforms in various jurisdictions around the world as Canadian regulators are currently contemplating a series of possible reforms to the rules governing client/advisor relationships.

June 2 ESMA

Products to be in clients best interest from outset of development
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published final guidance on Friday on so-called "product governance" requirements: the guidance appears aimed at ensuring that financial products are in the best interests of the clients they are aimed at, from the point they are first developed.

June 2 IIROC/
LICS

Deal to prevent rogue reps changing sectors in Saskatchewan
The push to close regulatory gaps between segments of the financial services sector took another step with an information-sharing agreement between the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Life Insurance Council of Saskatchewan. This is the fifth of these types of arrangements that IIROC has reached with insurance regulators. It already has agreements with insurance regulators in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

June 1 IIROC

Compensation-related conflicts top priority
Enhancing oversight of compensation-related conflicts, accommodating innovative models of financial advice and stepping up enforcement are among the top priorities for the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada for fiscal 2018.

May 31 FSCO

Insurance advisors fall short on compliance reviews
Many Ontario life insurance advisors are not complying with certain regulatory requirements and best practices, according to recent examinations conducted by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. A recent review showed a decrease in compliance rates.

May 31 AMF

Three-year strategic plan published
The Autorité des Marchés Financiers is adopting a three-year agenda that includes greater supervision of over-the-counter derivatives markets, addressing compensation-related conflicts in the insurance industry and considering environmental threats.

May 30 IIROC/
CSA

Kriegler comments on embedded fee ban discussions
If the Canadian Securities Administrators' proposal to ban embedded commissions were to be adopted, "the focus has to be on how the transition is made" to ensure unintentional harm is avoided with such a profound shift, according to Andrew Kriegler, president and CEO Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Comments on the CSA proposals are due June 9.

May 26 CCIR

Insurers' new sales report requirements mostly met
Most insurance companies complied with a new requirement to report detailed information about product sales, the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators reported. Those that don't comply could face enforcement action. The new Annual Statement on Market Conduct was required by May 1.

May 26 MFDA

Enforcement actions surge
Enforcement activity surged at the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada last year, driven by a spike in cases involving alleged signature falsification. The MFDA brought a record 111 proceedings against both financial advisors and dealers in 2016, up from 69 proceedings in 2015.

May 26 OSFI

Ontario joins PRPP regime
Ontario has been added to a federal-provincial agreement designed to streamline oversight of pooled registered pension plans and voluntary retirement savings plans (VRSPs), according to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

May 25 BIS

New standards for FX trading
A new voluntary code of conduct for global FX markets aims to set standards for ethics, governance, execution, information sharing, risk management and compliance in the wholesale FX markets. A committee of central banks and industry firms also announced the creation of the Global Foreign Exchange Committee to help oversee the new code.

May 23 MFDA

Embedded commissions ban would benefit banks
A ban on embedded commissions in mutual fund would likely affect non-bank mutual fund dealers the most and could lead to regulatory arbitrage with the insurance sector, suggests a report from the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.

May 23 FSB

Tracking problem employees
The Financial Stability Board published a report detailing its current and future efforts to improve industry governance as a way of preventing misconduct. In particular, the FSB plans to examine the problem of "rolling bad apples" — employees that leave one firm amid suspected misconduct, only to turn up at another firm in the industry.

May 18 CFTC

U.S. fintech lab to be launched
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is launching a financial technology (fintech) lab to modernize its approach to regulation. The lab aims to foster "responsible innovation" among fintech innovators. With this platform, the CFTC says it can also serve as a source of information that may help inform policy development.

May 18 CSA

Compliance deficiencies found at smaller firms
The Canadian Securities Administrators' recent compliance review of small firms such as fund managers and exempt-market dealers found widespread deficiencies, particularly when it comes to meeting disclosure, know-your-client and client reporting obligations.

May 12 FCA/
FSC

Co-operation on fintech
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission signed an agreement to co-operate on financial technology innovation.

May 11 CSA

Divisions sharper on best interest standard
Regulators in Ontario and New Brunswick are prepared to proceed with a "best interest" requirement for advisors, but their counterparts in Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba are now siding with British Columbia in explicitly rejecting the idea, according to a notice published by the Canadian Securities Administrators.

May 10 ASC

EMDs compliance sweep shows deficiencies
The Alberta Securities Commission published the results of a compliance sweep of 66 Alberta-based EMDs, which found deficiencies in every area the regulator examined, including suitability failings, inadequate know-your-client and know-your-product processes, as well as to identify or deal with conflicts of interest, among various other issues.

May 9 Alberta/
IIROC/
MFDA

Greater enforcement powers for SROs
Alberta introduced legislation to beef up securities enforcement by giving the investment industry's self-regulatory organizations greater investigative powers and statutory immunity.

May 8 NZFMA

New strategies for pre-retirement
New Zealand's Financial Markets Authority launched a pilot project to prompt pre-retirees to seek financial advice when they are about 10 years from retirement. The regulator is working with ANZ New Zealand Investments Ltd. Recent FMA research found that workers who start retirement planning at least a decade before they are due to retire have "the highest levels of confidence about funding their retirement."

May
4
Canada

New genetic testing law opposed by insurance industry
The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act has received royal assent. The act allows Canadians to get genetic tests to help identify health risks without having to reveal results of the tests if they apply for a job or life insurance. The new law is opposed by the life insurance industry. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould remains convinced the new law, the product of a private member's bill, is unconstitutional and will likely be referring the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada.

May 4 MFDA/
IIROC

New CE credits rules debated
Financial advisors and their firms will likely be facing a new accreditation landscape in the years ahead as a host of regulators and industry groups are calling for new proficiency standards. However, some industry participants strongly object to some aspects of the emerging proposals, especially those from the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA).

May 3 ASIC

Whistle-blowing: new research reviews impact of new regimes
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) strongly endorsed the results of a research project that studied whistle-blowing systems. The research is the first effort to systematically compare the levels, responses, and outcomes, of whistleblowing in multiple organizations in various sectors, the ASIC says.

May 1 CB

Call for greater collaboration in fintech sector
Canada's federal Competition Bureau highlighted the need for collaboration among financial technology (fintech) firms, regulators and between both parties in a summary report. The bureau is conducting a market study aimed at fostering competition in the fintech sector, with a report expected by the end of 2017. This summary discusses the results of a workshop it hosted in late February to discuss some of the issues that have arisen so far.

Apr. 27 AMF

Creation of fintech lab announced
The Autorité des marchés financiers announced the launch of a fintech lab to help deepen its understanding of technology and its potential in the financial industry.

Apr. 27 IIROC

Scrutiny of payout grids to increase
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada is increasing its scrutiny of payout grids and other industry compensation practices, citing concerns about compensation-related conflicts and the industry's heavy reliance on disclosure.

Apr. 25 BCBS

Global banking reform still uneven
A report on the revised regulatory framework known as Basel III shows there's still work to be done. While much has been accomplished to reduce risk in the banking system, challenges remain in areas such as disclosure requirements and capital standards, the report says.

Apr. 24 MFDA

Enforcement activity surges
The number of notices of hearings and bulk track cases that the Mutual Fund Dealers Association issued in 2016 increased significantly compared with the previous two years.

Apr. 20 JCESA

Protracted period of low profitability expected
A report from the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities — which includes the European Banking Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority — points to a "protracted period of low profitability" for banks and difficulties for insurers.

Apr. 20 OSC

New procedural rules proposed
The Ontario Securities Commission is proposing changes to the rules that guide how disciplinary proceedings and other hearings are carried out.

Apr. 19 IIAC

Enforcement activity rose last year
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada's annual report shows that enforcement ramped up overall in 2016. However there was a decline in the number of cases against firms during the year.

Apr. 13 FCA

Advertising and investor choices
Advertising that encourages consumers to act on emotion rather than logic can lead to poor decisions and unsuitable product purchases, suggests a new paper from the behavioural economics and data science unit at the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority.

Apr. 12 IAP

Paper calls for best interest, other reforms
A new report says 2017 "promises to be a monumental year" for enhancing investor protection, the report from the Investor Advisory Panel suggests, provided that regulators follow through and, "introduce a best interest standard and eliminate conflicted compensation."

Apr. 10 FINRA

Victim vulnerability and U.S. regulatory sanctions
The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority revised the sanctions guidelines that the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC), its appeal tribunal, uses to include "a new principal consideration that contemplates coverage for financial exploitation of vulnerable individuals or individuals with diminished capacity."

Apr. 10 IIAC

Fighting financial crimes reforms called for
Federal authorities should step up co-operation with investment industry regulators, enhance disclosure to the industry and allow greater reliance on facial recognition technology, according to the Investment Industry Association of Canada in a letter to the federal Department of Finance Canada as part of a parliamentary review of the anti-money laundering legislation.

Apr. 6 CSA

Greater co-operation on cybersecurity recommended
Canada's securities industry needs to develop more formal mechanisms for sharing information in the event of a disruptive cyber attack, the Canadian Securities Administrators suggest in a new report. It details the results of a cybersecurity roundtable that regulators hosted with a cross-section of investment industry firms and organizations on Feb. 2.

Apr. 6 IIROC

Members to be banned as POA's, executors, trustees
Investment dealer personnel will be largely banned from serving as power of attorney, trustees, or executors for clients under new rules the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada is introducing later this year.

Apr. 5 ESMA

Pending market structure changes clarified
The European Securities and Markets Authority published new guidance on its forthcoming new regulatory regime, known as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). The guidance relates to market data, transparency, and the introduction of new types of trading venues (known as organized trading facilities (OTFs)) for certain products.

Mar. 31 IOSCO

Revised co-operation model for global regulators
The International Organization of Securities Commissions announced that global securities regulators have agreed to a new deal for sharing information and co-operating on cross-border enforcement.

Mar. 31 Ontario

Support for new rules for planners and advisors
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa pledged government support for reforms recommended in a recently published expert report on the regulation of financial planning and advice, but stopped short of committing to its call for a statutory best interest duty.

Mar. 31 Ontario

SRO's to receive new powers to pursue advisors
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced that the Ontario government will introduce legislation to grant self-regulatory organizations the power to enforce sanctions against misbehaving advisors through the courts.

Mar. 30 FINRA

New ways to protect seniors from fraud
The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority received approval for two new rules that should help stop con artists who prey on the elderly before the damage is done. FINRA member firms will have new authority as of Feb. 5, 2018 to take two simple, but key, steps to protect senior investors before a transfer of their funds takes place.

Mar. 29 OSC

Embracing behavioural economics
The Ontario Securities Commission's Investor Office published a report that reviews the work of economists who study how people actually behave in the real world vs the classic economists' view of people as strictly rational decision makers. The report concludes that behavioural insights have a role to play in producing better regulatory policy and indicates that the OSC plans to do more work in this area in the year ahead.

Mar. 28 BCBS

Banks falling short on compliance with risk reforms
The world's big banks are falling short in adopting post-crisis reforms to risk management practices, according to a report published by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The principles, published in 2013, were supposed to be fully implemented at global systemically-important banks by January 2016.

Mar. 27

IIF

RegTech could reduce compliance costs
A new report from the International Institute of Finance calls for reforms to allow the financial services sector to fully exploit regulatory technology, or "regtech," to help curb compliance costs. The report refers to new technologies such as machine learning, robotics, biometrics and distributed ledger technology to improve compliance with anti-money laundering anti-fraud requirements for financial services firms.

Mar. 24 ESMA

Consumer complaints rise in Europe
The number of complaints to regulators in the first half of 2016 by financial consumers has increased, the European Securities and Markets Authority announced. The number of complaints jumped to more than 7,000 in the first half of 2016, compared with 5,152 for the same period in 2015.

Mar. 23 OSC

Priorities statement for fiscal 2018
Retail investor issues remain at the top of the Ontario Securities Commission's list for the next fiscal year, ending March 31, 2018, including embedded commissions in the mutual fund industry, a possible best interest standard and other proposed reforms to client/advisor relationships. A renewed effort to reduce the regulatory burden is also coming, the statement says.

Mar. 21 CSA

Disclosure on climate change for issuers
The Canadian Securities Administrators said it will review disclosure from large, public companies on the risks and financial impacts of climate change. The review will focus on both issuers' existing mandatory continuous disclosure filings, and voluntary reporting in 2016.

Mar. 17 ONT

Report calls for key changes in advisor credentials, best interests
The Ontario government's Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives recommended a series of new standards apparently designed to bring financial advisors and financial planners under a strict new regulatory scheme that would include a statutory best interests duty, overhauling the use of titles and the creation of a new regulatory body.

Mar. 16 OBSI

Number of investor complaints rises
The volume of complaints filed against investment services firms and banks rose in 2016, according to the latest annual report from the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investment. The ombudservice's annual report reveals that the total number of cases it opened in 2016 jumped to 640 from 571 in 2015, marking a 12% increase.

Mar. 16 CSA

Investment entities disclosure review
A recent review of investment entities, an expanding group of public issuers, revealed many areas in which disclosure practices could be improved, according to the Canadian Securities Administrators.

Mar. 15

CRTC/
CASL

Decision offers guidance on anti-spam compliance
A recent enforcement decision from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission dealing with Canada's anti-spam legislation may be helpful to financial advisors and their small business owner clients who send marketing email and find themselves in contravention of the act.

Mar. 15 FCAC

Review of bank's business practices in April
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada is conducting reviews into the banking industry's business practices in April. The consumer watchdog routinely performs reviews of the practices of federally regulated financial institutions to investigate specific compliance issues.

Mar. 14 IOSCO

New regional hub for securities regulators
The International Organization of Securities Commissions launched its first regional-capacity building hub in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which will focus on the needs of its Asia-Pacific members. The new hub is designed to meet requests from IOSCO members for more regulatory capacity — which now includes seminars, staff secondments and an online toolkit on risk-based supervision and enforcement — in growth and emerging markets.

Mar. 13 LCO

Power of Attorney, proposed changes
The Law Commission of Ontario has submitted proposals for assessing capacity, regulating guardianship and structuring powers of attorney. The 58 recommendations amount to proposals for a sweeping reform of the way vulnerable people are assisted in areas that range from finances to health care.

Mar. 10 IIROC More stringent hiring practices having results
A new report from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada suggests dealers are toughening their hiring practices. The report details the exemption requests that IIROC has handled over the past year, including applications for exemptions from trading rules, certain dealer rules and from proficiency requirements.
 
Mar. 9 CSA

Reckless use of social media harming investors
The Canadian Securities Administrators outlined the results of a regulatory review that looked at public companies' use of social media. The review disclosed that investors may have suffered as a result of major stock price moves caused by disclosure made through social media, including early, selective, or misleading, disclosure.

Mar. 8 FINRA

New professional proficiency test proposals
The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filed a proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that sets out plans to overhaul the industry's competency exams. The proposed changes would eliminate duplicative testing and make it easier for participants to demonstrate and maintain their qualifications.

Mar. 8 OSC

Securities laws may apply to blockchain
The Ontario Securities Commission is cautioning that businesses that use distributed ledger technology (DLT), such as blockchain, need to consider whether they're subject to securities law requirements. The OSC says that certain uses of blockchain technology may trigger registration requirements, or the obligation to file a prospectus.

Mar. 6 OSC

OSC reports on RegHackTO results
The Ontario Securities Commission foresees a bigger role for technology in the regulator's toolkit, according to a new report. The OSC's report was put out along with a video detailing the results of RegHackTO, which the OSC held this past November in Toronto.

Mar. 3 NASAA Investors, seniors at top of legislative agenda
The North American Securities Administrators Association is putting retail investors, and seniors in particular, at the top of its legislative agenda. Its recommendations to Congress include establishing a fiduciary standard for broker-dealers.
 
Mar. 2 Advocis
 
Calls for opposition to embedded commission ban
The Financial Advisors' Association of Canada called on advisors and clients to contact their provincial members of Parliament to oppose a possible ban on embedded commissions. In January, the Canadian Securities Administrators published a paper that contemplates banning embedded compensation arrangements and requiring instead that investors pay their advisors directly.
 
Mar. 2 CSA Binary options fraud task force
The Canadian Securities Administrators launched a task force to tackle more aggressively binary options fraud. It is designed to raise awareness and warn investors against dealing with binary options trading firms.
 
Feb. 27 CSA Enforcement declines, while no-contest rises
Securities enforcement activity declined overall in Canada last year, according to the Canadian Securities Administrators. However, but the Ontario Securities Commission's no-contest settlement process was key to generating a large jump in money being returned to investors. The CSA also issued a total of 60 investor alerts during 2016, with more than half of these dealing with binary options firms.
 
Feb. 27 BIS Blockchain technology could enhance transparency
A new report from the Bank for International Settlements aims to help the financial services sector assess the uses and risks associated with distributed ledger technology (DLT) within payments systems. The BIS report also examines the implications of using distributed DLT, also known as blockchain technology, in payment clearing and settlement.
 
Feb. 23 SEC

Policy guidance on robo-advisors released
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published an investor bulletin along with revised investment industry guidance on the fast-growing robo-advisor sector. The updated guidance from the SEC's division of investment management aims to address the "unique issues" robo-advisors raise, with suggestions for meeting their disclosure, suitability and compliance obligations.

Feb. 23 CSA

Launch of regulatory sandbox
The Canadian Securities Administrators introduced a national "regulatory sandbox" for novel products and services. The concept will allow financial services firms to test innovative products and services without requiring full regulatory approval in a way that also provides investor protection.

Feb. 22 MFDA

Key compliance priorities for 2017
Suitability and know-your-client (KYC) issues, the second phase of the client relationship model (CRM2) and cybersecurity are among the top priorities for the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) in 2017. The MFDA notice indicates suitability and KYC issues will continue to be the SRO's primary focus in compliance exams. The MFDA will also continue assessing firms' compensation practices and internal controls to manage compensation-related conflicts.

Feb. 22 IOSCO

Review of loan fund risks
Investment funds that hold loans in their portfolios represent a number of risks, but these risks are not yet serious enough to warrant further regulatory activity, according to a report from the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

Feb. 22 OSC

Fintech agreement to ease expansion
The Ontario Securities Commission and the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority signed a deal this week allowing regulators to refer innovative financial technology (fintech) firms to one another to ease their entry into their respective markets.

Feb. 21 Europe

Financial services sector vulnerable to terrorism related abuses
The European Securities and Markets Authorities, the European Banking Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority issued a joint opinion, warning that the financial services sector is vulnerable to abuse by financial criminals due to weaknesses in firms' controls, regulatory arbitrage, a lack of access to intelligence on terrorist suspects and the risk of transactions being driven underground. "Over the course of the last two years, terrorist attacks have been committed in several EU member states. There is evidence to suggest that in at least some cases, terrorists abused legitimate payment channels to facilitate their actions," the joint opinion says.

Feb. 21 NASAA/
SEC

Information sharing on crowdfunding
The North American Securities Administrators Association and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission signed an information-sharing agreement to facilitate intrastate crowdfunding offerings. Rules to provide more flexibility for intrastate crowdfunding offerings go into effect in April.

Feb. 21 MX

Montreal Exchange to target market manipulation
The Montreal Exchange revealed its compliance priorities for 2017, which include plans to target manipulative and deceptive trading; firms' compliance and supervisory obligations, including their duty to oversee clients with direct electronic access; and accurate reporting of firms' derivatives positions.

Feb. 13 IIROC

Work-from-home guidelines
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) issued new guidance for firms on supervising employees who work from home.

Feb. 13 ASC

Whistle blower program considered
The Alberta Securities Commission will consider a new whistleblower program to boost compliance and enforcement while also curbing the regulatory burden.

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.

     

 

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