The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) on Wednesday released a notice and request for comment summarizing the results of the regulator’s fintech outreach activities in 2017 and seeking input on potential measures to clarify or modernize B.C. securities laws for stakeholders.
The notice summarizes the BCSC’s consultation activities in five key fintech areas: crowdfunding and online lending; online advisors (aka robo-advisors); cryptocurrency funds, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies, and fintech regulation in the future.
“This notice asks targeted questions to help us understand industry developments and how potential future action could impact the industry and investors,” says Mark Wang, director of capital markets regulation at the BCSC, in a statement.
For example, the notice contemplates reforms to allow greater automation by robo-advisors. It seeks feedback on allowing robos to rely more heavily on outside firms and/or on artificial intelligence for Know Your Client and suitability assessment processes, and on the risks that could accompany fully automated recommendation and suitability processes.
It also asks for input on requirements that make the account transfer process inefficient, and for ideas on how the regulators could encourage faster transfers by the industry.
In addition, the notice examines how regulators should address the risks of trading in cryptocurrencies and investing in ICOs, proposes possible changes to the BCSC’s crowdfunding rules, and examines whether cryptocurrency investment funds should have a dedicated set of operational requirements.
It also considers the idea of introducing a 12-month fintech licensing exemption, modelled on the approach of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which would allow fintechs to operate for a limited time subject to certain limitations.
The notice also asks for feedback on specific regulatory requirements that may be hampering innovation without providing a corresponding benefit in terms of investor protection.
The BCSC invites anyone involved in the B.C. technology industry, including those who may have participated in earlier consultations, to review the notice and provide written submissions.
Comments should be submitted on or before, April 3.