A man removing interlocking pieces from a large stack

Integrating compliance and enforcement is among the top priorities of the new industry self-regulatory organization, the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO).

CIRO, which formally adopted its new name on Thursday, unveiled its priorities for the current fiscal year (to March 31, 2024).

Alongside the major effort to consolidate the regulator’s various rulebooks and to address critical policy issues — such as advisor commission structures and account transfer standards — CIRO said it’s working to integrate the compliance operations of the predecessor SROs, “with a focus on aligning investment dealer and mutual fund dealer compliance processes.”

In particular, ensuring compliance with the client-focused reforms (CFRs) is a top priority, it said.

CIRO said it’s finalizing a joint report with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) on the results of a compliance sweep they conducted over the past year on CFR compliance. And it will be harmonizing its approach to a second round of CFR compliance exams with the CSA.

In enforcement, CIRO said it will soon start work to integrate the SROs’ disciplinary departments, including the development of uniform sanction guidelines and a centralized complaints intake process.

The new SRO noted it will also conduct an investor survey to help set the direction and establish priorities for its new investor office, and will support the work of its investor advisory panel (IAP). It also plans to launch a new section of its website devoted to the IAP and the Office of the Investor.

Other priorities include plans to harmonize continuing education requirements and to finalize a new fee model, along with industry-wide business continuity planning and cybersecurity exercises.

“Our inaugural annual priorities will help guide us in everything we do over the next year to ensure our first year as an enhanced, single regulator keeps our members and investors in the forefront of everything we do,” Alexandra Williams, senior vice-president, member regulation and strategy with CIRO, said in a release.