New Alberta law to give SROs greater powers

Regulatory fees are going up in Alberta, but not as much as initially proposed.

The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) announced Monday it will adopt ASC Rule 13-501 Fees, pending Ministerial approval, which will replace the ASC’s current fee schedule.

The new fee schedule will revise the fee calculation methodology for certain filings, and will introduce a new participation fee model for issuers, exchanges and clearing agencies.

Overall, the new model is expected to raise regulatory fees to better fund the commission, which has operated at a deficit over the past five years, the ASC says in a statement announcing the rule.

“The fee changes will permit the ASC to maintain its current operations,” ASC says, adding it’s not expecting any major changes to its spending plans.

The new model won’t push fees up as much as initially expected. The ASC is projecting lower revenue needs than previously forecast, after realizing efficiencies in its operations, and it notes that the current economic situation in the province merits lower fees.

“Taking into account the current economic climate and reason for implementing the fee increases, the ASC considers it appropriate to also reduce the fees being levied under the participation model for reporting issuers by approximately 17% and the fee for investment funds is reduced by $50,” the ASC says.

Assuming that the rule receives ministerial approval, the new fee rule would take effect Dec. 1.

“Over the past decade, the ASC’s regulatory obligations have increased due to significant changes in the size and complexity of Alberta’s capital market, and these fee changes are required for the ASC to continue to ensure the integrity of the market and protect investors,” says Tom Cotter, interim chairman and CEO of the ASC.

“In enacting these fee changes during a difficult financial period in Alberta, we strove to find a balance between meeting the ASC’s monetary needs and the impact increased regulatory costs may have on market participants,” he adds.

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