| May 12 || FCA/ |
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/ |
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 |
| 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/ |
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 || |
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 || |
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/ |
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 || |
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.
| || || |