From the Regulators

No registration necessary for employees working in Canada serving U.S. clients

By James Langton |

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is proposing to adopt an expedited rule that would allow U.S. brokers and advisers to avoid registration as long as they are only dealing with U.S. clients.

In late March, the rest of the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced the adoption of blanket orders to allow U.S. firms to maintain offices and employees in Canada without triggering registration requirements, as long as they only deal with U.S. clients. The OSC does not have the power to issue blanket orders, so it was not part of that original initiative.

See: CSA exempts U.S. broker-dealers, advisers

At the time, the OSC indicated that it would consider applications for relief on the same conditions as the rest of the CSA. Now however, it is proposing an expedited rule, which reflects the CSA's approach to these firms.

"An expedited rule is also the most efficient way to harmonize with the CSA while imposing minimal costs and regulatory burden on firms affected by this rule, and it allows the commission to have regulatory oversight over the firms that rely on the exemptions in the rule," it notes in a staff notice.

As with the CSA orders, the proposed rule provides exemptions from the dealer and adviser registration requirements, subject to certain conditions, for firms that solely trade for, and advise, U.S. clients. To rely on the exemption proposed in the rule, U.S. firms must be properly registered and regulated by U.S. authorities.

While an expedited rule doesn't have to be issued for comment, it does require the approval of the Minister of Finance. Assuming that approval is received, the rule would take effect July 7.