| Dec. 21|| CSA|
Co-operation on Fintech
Canadian and French securities regulators have signed a deal to co-operate and facilitate the entry of innovative financial technology firms into one another’s markets.
| Dec. 15|| CRA|| Tougher voluntary disclosure program announced|
The federal government will be tightening eligiblity for the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Voluntary Disclosure Program, which allows taxpayers to proactively disclose to the CRA information about their tax non-compliance in exchange for leniency from the taxman.
| Dec. 15|| IIROC|
New guidance on reporting short positions
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada issued new guidance for calculating and reporting short positions, in anticipation of the adoption of a new reporting process in 2018.
| Dec. 14|| CSA|
New post-trade reporting rules for government debt
The Canadian Securities Administrators plans to propose a new debt market reporting framework for public comment in the first quarter of 2018, according to a new notice.
| Dec. 13|| CCIR|
Major changes to seg funds proposed
The regulatory requirements facing segregated funds and the financial advisors who sell these products should more closely mirror the rules pertaining to mutual funds, the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators recommends in a new position paper.
| Dec. 12|| IIROC|
Higher margin requirements for cryptocurrency futures
With the launch of cryptocurrency futures on the major U.S. derivatives exchanges, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) is imposing higher margin requirements for trades in crypto futures.
| Dec. 7|| OBSI|| Caution issued on resisting OBSI recommendations|
Securities regulators are stopping short of giving the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) the power to make binding investor compensation recommendations — instead, they are warning them that they may face increased regulatory scrutiny for resisting OBSI’s recommendations.
| Nov. 30|| OSFI|
Final version of CAR guideline released
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions released the final version of the capital adequacy requirements (CAR) guideline, and confirmed its plans for future changes to the capital adequacy framework.
| Nov. 28|| ASIC|
Expert to review new Australia disclosure regime
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission appointed Darren McShane, a former Hong Kong pensions regulator, to conduct a review of fee and costs disclosure to consumers in the country’s superannuation scheme and other investments.
| Nov. 24|| OSFI|
LICAT guideline to take effect January
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) on Friday published the final version of its capital rules for federally regulated life insurers. Known as the Life Insurance Capital Adequacy Test (LICAT) guideline, the rules are slated to take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
| Nov. 23|| IOSCO|
New guidance for termination of investment funds
New guidance for asset managers aims to protect investors when a firm decides to wind up an investment fund. The International Organization of Securities Commissions published a report that sets out good practices for firms when they voluntarily terminate investment funds.
| Nov. 22|| IIROC|
Exemption granted for mutual fund reps
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada issued an exemption to allow investment dealers that employ mutual fund reps to also allow certain reps to trade in exempt securities. Historically, IIROC has allowed investment dealers to employ mutual fund-only reps for up to 270 days, ostensibly while they upgrade their proficiency to full-service status.
| Nov. 16|| AMF|
Reps’ business relationships to be probed
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) will collect additional data on registrants’ practices and relationships with different industry stakeholders.The AMF will ask for further information about firms’ and individuals’ business relationships as part of the ongoing registration process. This includes information on referral arrangements and commission sharing agreements, along with information on complaints and disciplinary actions.
| Nov. 16|
Elder abuse flagged
Investment firms and advisors should be recruited into the fight against the exploitation of vulnerable investors, particularly seniors, recommends a new report from the Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Investor Rights (FAIR Canada) and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL).
| Nov. 16|| OSC|
Province moves to regulate financial planners
Ontario’s provincial government reiterated its pledge to regulate financial planners, establish a co-operative national securities regulator and bolster the Ontario Securities Commission’s role in guarding against systemic risk and overseeing syndicated mortgages in its autumn update.
| Nov. 9|| SIFMA|
Cybersecurity drill conducted in U.S.
A recent cybersecurity drill has demonstrated that defending against a crippling cyberattack on the U.S. securities industry requires dedicated co-operation among the industry, regulators and the government.
| Nov. 8|| FSCO|
Compliance exams revamp
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario is launching a new process for its compliance examinations of insurance advisors this autumn. The regulator will begin conducting “desk reviews” — questionnaires that aim to help the regulator determine which advisors require a more in-depth compliance review — prior to conducting onsite exams. Advisors who receive an email or letter regarding the desk review are required to complete the questionnaire and submit it to FSCO by email within 15 business days. Those who fail to complete the questionnaire could face disciplinary action.
| Nov. 7|| MFDA|
Signature falsification still a problem
The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada says some financial advisors are falsifying client signatures, and the self-regulatory organization is warning advisors about the consequences of engaging in this practice.
| Nov. 6|| Comp. Bureau|
The Competition Bureau released the draft report on its market study concerning technology‑led innovation in the Canadian financial services (fintech) sector in a variety of market segments, including payments, crowdfunding, and investment advice.
| Nov. 1|| FSB|
AI systems could raise risks
The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning by financial firms could enhance the efficiency of the financial system, but it also creates the potential for new systemic risks by intensifying interconnectedness and increasing firms’ reliance on opaque models, says a new report from the Financial Stability Board.
| Oct. 30|| OBSI|
Banking complaints up, investment complaints down
Complaints about banking are up, but investment complaints are down, according to new data from the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments.
| Oct. 30|| NASAA|
Financial abuse highlighted
The North American Securities Administrators Association released a new publication warning of possible financial abuse by guardians assigned to oversee financial matters of individuals no longer able to do so for themselves. The notice lists key flags of such abuse.
| Oct. 23|| OSC|
Regulatory relief granted to first initial coin offering
The Ontario Securities Commission approved Ontario’s first-ever regulated initial coin offering (ICO). Under the Canadian Securities Administrators’ “regulatory sandbox”, the OSC granted regulatory relief to Toronto-based Token Funder Inc., which will exempt the firm from the dealer registration requirements, and allow it to carry out an ICO under existing prospectus exemptions.
| Oct. 19|| CSA|
More than half of firms experience cybersecurity incident
More than half of registered firms have faced some sort of cyber incident in the past year, according to a survey conducted by the Canadian Securities Administrators.
| Oct. 16|| ASC|
Credit for co-operation
The Alberta Securities Commission published a new policy on providing credit for co-operation in enforcement cases, with the goal of encouraging self-reporting of possible securities law violations.
| Oct. 13|| OSC|
AI discussed at OSC panel
Artificial intelligence could be used to nudge clients toward smart financial decisions or to exploit their ignorance, according to experts who participated in a panel discussion at the Ontario Securities Commission’s annual policy conference in Toronto.
| Oct. 6|| FSB|
Monitoring of international financial system risks to include cybersecurity
The Financial Stability Board, chaired by Canadian Mark Carney, will undertake an evaluation of the impact of its international post-financial crisis reforms on financial intermediation, along with other international standards setters. It is also reviewing the incentives for central clearing of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, an initiative that will conclude in late 2018. The FSB is also monitoring new and emerging risks, including cybersecurity, misconduct risks, and market-based finance, among other things.
| Oct. 2|| BCSC|
Fee disclosure not enough for less confident investors
New disclosure on the costs of investing is helping prompt action from already-confident investors but less-confident investors are not following through with action, despite being better informed, according to a study commissioned by the British Columbia Securities Commission.
| Sept. 28|| Global regulators|
Unique product identifiers guidance issued
Global banking and securities regulators on issued guidance on the adoption of unique product identifiers designed to improve the transparency of the over-the-counter derivatives markets.
| Sept. 28|| CSA|
Binary options ban implemented
The Canadian Securities Administrators announced the implementation of a rule that makes it illegal to advertise or trade binary options with individual investors.
| Sept. 27|| NASAA|
Growing use of fee disclosure model
U.S. brokerage firms are increasingly adopting an approach to fee disclosure proposed by the North American Securities Administrators Association, in an effort to improve disclosure to clients.
| Sept. 25|| NASAA|
Advisors show cybersecurity deficiencies
A series of more than 1,200 co-ordinated examinations of state-registered investment advisors by state securities examiners uncovered nearly 700 deficiencies involving cybersecurity, the North American Securities Administrators Association announced.
| Sept. 21|| CSA|
Cybersecurity review announced
Following the discovery of a breach of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulatory filing system for public companies, the Canadian Securities Administrators announced the launch of its own cybersecurity review. There is “no evidence that the CSA’s national systems have been compromised,” the CSA says in its announcement.
| Sept. 21|| BCSC|
Crowdfunding rules updated
The British Columbia Securities Commission announced changes to its crowdfunding rules, raising investment limits and allowing companies to access investors in Alberta. The changes permit an increased investment, for investors that pass a suitability check by a registered dealer, of up to $5,000.
| Sept. 21|| OSC|
Corporate disclosure shortcomings flagged
Corporate issuers continue to have trouble fully meeting their disclosure obligations to investors, according to a report from the Ontario Securities Commission’s corporate finance branch.
| Sept. 15|| CSA/|
Clean bill of health issued
By stepping up enforcement against reps that falsify client signatures, and ramping up disciplinary action against dealers for supervisory failures, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada has earned a clean bill of health from the provincial regulators.
| Sept. 14|| SEC|
Investors cautioned over misleading designations
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issued an investor bulletin to warn retail investors about dubious professional awards, and similar marketing efforts, that may be used to confuse or deceive investors. An Ontario report recently called for the review and standardization of designations used by financial advisors.
| Sept. 12|| ESMA|
Negative effect of fund fees on returns noted
The negative impact of mutual fund fees on investor returns is highlighted in a report published Tuesday from the European Securities and Markets Authority.
| Sept. 12|| IIROC/|
Information to be shared
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding in a bid to strengthen investor protection.
| Sept. 11|| FINRA|
Investor caution on initial coin offerings issued in U.S.
The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued an investor alert warning about the potential risks of initial coin offerings (ICOs). Both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian Securities Administrators have recently published reports setting out their approach to ICOs, which involve companies raising capital through the issuance of virtual coins or tokens.
| Sept. 5|| MFDA|
Rule changes to be proposed
The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada will propose rule changes later this year to keep its own rules in line with provincial securities rules, according to an MFDA bulletin.
| Aug. 29|| CCIR|
Next steps on seg fund disclosure
The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators will publish a position paper this autumn outlining its specific recommendations and expectations pertaining to seg funds, including disclosure requirements similar to those for mutual funds.
| Aug. 28|| IIROC|
Fees to stay flat for next year
Regulation fees for investment dealers are expected to stay flat for the coming year, even as regulatory costs for the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada are expected to rise by about $1 million, according to the latest IIROC forecasts.
| Aug. 24|| CSA|
Cryptocurrencies will be regulated like securities
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) indicates in a staff notice that many of the new cryptocurrency offerings — also known as initial coin offerings (ICOs) or initial token offerings (ITOs) —meet the definition of securities and must comply with traditional securities law.
| Aug. 21|| NASAA|
Seniors and fraud
Most fraud against seniors likely goes undiscovered, suggests a survey of state securities regulators by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). The survey finds that 97% of regulators surveyed feel that most cases of senior financial fraud “go undetected rather than being discovered before they cause serious problems.”
| Aug. 10|| FPSC/|
Agreement to co-operate and share information
The Ontario Securities Commission and the Financial Planning Standards Council, the standard-setting organization for financial planners, are pledging to co-operate and share information.
| Aug. 3|| CSA|
Changes for T+2 considered
Although current trade processing practices should be adequate to allow the Canadian industry to move to a T+2 settlement cycle as planned in September, the Canadian Securities Administrators are considering whether to require real-time trade reporting by exchanges, rather than end-of-day reporting, to help ease the process.
| July 28|| FCA|
Moving away from LIBOR
The financial services sector should be planning for a transition to alternative interest rate benchmarks based on actual transactions over the next four to five years, according to the CEO of the FCA.
| July 27|| CSA|
Focus on conflict of interest transactions
Regulators in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick published their approach to reviewing corporate transactions that involve a material conflict of interest — such as insider bids, issuer bids and related party transactions — in which the interests of minority shareholders could be adversely impacted.
| July 26|| NASAA|
Rule to address improper access to client logins
The North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. is proposing an amendment designed to address financial advisors’ improper access to clients’ accounts.
| July 26|| SEC|
Blockchain subject to securities regulations
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued an investigative report — and investor alert — advising that it views offers of digital assets utilizing blockchain technology as securities; and that the offerings may be subject to securities law.
| June 16|| Fin Can|
Proposed rules for bail in regime published
The Department of Finance Canada published a set of proposed rules in the Canada Gazette that would establish the details of a “bail-in” regime in the event one of the large Canadian banks runs into financial trouble.
| June 15|| NASAA|
Reducing harm to elder investors
Most U.S. brokerage firms have procedures for reporting possible instances of financial abuse of their senior clients, according to report published Thusday by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).
| June 13|| IOSCO|
Measures to combat wholesale market misconduct
A report from the International Organization of Securities Commissions task force on wholesale market conduct sets out measures that regulators around the world are taking to prevent and sanction misconduct in markets that tend to be particularly opaque, and pose certain conflicts of interest. It aims to provide regulators with tools to help address these risks in their own markets.
| June 2|| IFIC|
No unanimity on reform among global regulators
A new Investment Funds Institute of Canada report concludes there’s no unanimity among global regulators on the optimal way to reform investment industry regulation. IFIC’s report, Global Trends in Financial Services Regulation, explored recent reforms in various jurisdictions around the world as Canadian regulators are currently contemplating a series of possible reforms to the rules governing client/advisor relationships.
| June 2|| ESMA|
Products to be in clients best interest from outset of development
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published final guidance on Friday on so-called “product governance” requirements: the guidance appears aimed at ensuring that financial products are in the best interests of the clients they are aimed at, from the point they are first developed.
| June 2|| IIROC/|
Deal to prevent rogue reps changing sectors in Saskatchewan
The push to close regulatory gaps between segments of the financial services sector took another step with an information-sharing agreement between the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Life Insurance Council of Saskatchewan. This is the fifth of these types of arrangements that IIROC has reached with insurance regulators. It already has agreements with insurance regulators in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
| June 1|| IIROC|
Compensation-related conflicts top priority
Enhancing oversight of compensation-related conflicts, accommodating innovative models of financial advice and stepping up enforcement are among the top priorities for the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada for fiscal 2018.
| May 31|| FSCO|
Insurance advisors fall short on compliance reviews
Many Ontario life insurance advisors are not complying with certain regulatory requirements and best practices, according to recent examinations conducted by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. A recent review showed a decrease in compliance rates.
| May 31|| AMF|
Three-year strategic plan published
The Autorité des Marchés Financiers is adopting a three-year agenda that includes greater supervision of over-the-counter derivatives markets, addressing compensation-related conflicts in the insurance industry and considering environmental threats.
| May 30|| IIROC/|
Kriegler comments on embedded fee ban discussions
If the Canadian Securities Administrators’ proposal to ban embedded commissions were to be adopted, “the focus has to be on how the transition is made” to ensure unintentional harm is avoided with such a profound shift, according to Andrew Kriegler, president and CEO Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Comments on the CSA proposals are due June 9.
| May 26|| CCIR|
Insurers’ new sales report requirements mostly met
Most insurance companies complied with a new requirement to report detailed information about product sales, the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators reported. Those that don’t comply could face enforcement action. The new Annual Statement on Market Conduct was required by May 1.
| May 26|| MFDA|
Enforcement actions surge
Enforcement activity surged at the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada last year, driven by a spike in cases involving alleged signature falsification. The MFDA brought a record 111 proceedings against both financial advisors and dealers in 2016, up from 69 proceedings in 2015.
| May 26|| OSFI|
Ontario joins PRPP regime
Ontario has been added to a federal-provincial agreement designed to streamline oversight of pooled registered pension plans and voluntary retirement savings plans (VRSPs), according to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.
| May 25|| BIS|
New standards for FX trading
A new voluntary code of conduct for global FX markets aims to set standards for ethics, governance, execution, information sharing, risk management and compliance in the wholesale FX markets. A committee of central banks and industry firms also announced the creation of the Global Foreign Exchange Committee to help oversee the new code.
| May 23|| MFDA|
Embedded commissions ban would benefit banks
A ban on embedded commissions in mutual fund would likely affect non-bank mutual fund dealers the most and could lead to regulatory arbitrage with the insurance sector, suggests a report from the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.
| May 23|| FSB|
Tracking problem employees
The Financial Stability Board published a report detailing its current and future efforts to improve industry governance as a way of preventing misconduct. In particular, the FSB plans to examine the problem of “rolling bad apples” — employees that leave one firm amid suspected misconduct, only to turn up at another firm in the industry.
| May 18|| CFTC|
U.S. fintech lab to be launched
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is launching a financial technology (fintech) lab to modernize its approach to regulation. The lab aims to foster “responsible innovation” among fintech innovators. With this platform, the CFTC says it can also serve as a source of information that may help inform policy development.
| May 18|| CSA|
Compliance deficiencies found at smaller firms
The Canadian Securities Administrators’ recent compliance review of small firms such as fund managers and exempt-market dealers found widespread deficiencies, particularly when it comes to meeting disclosure, know-your-client and client reporting obligations.
| 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.”
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.