U.S. firms don’t have to register employees that work in Canada, as long as they are just dealing with U.S. clients, Canadian securities regulators have ruled.
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) issued a notice Thursday indicating that it will exempt U.S. broker-dealers and U.S. advisers from Canadian registration requirements as long as they are just servicing U.S. clients, and are subject to the oversight of U.S. regulators.
In the notice, the CSA indicates that certain U.S. firms have offices or employees in Canada, but that they are not registered in Canada. Under Canadian securities rules, the CSA says, “trading and advising in securities in a Canadian jurisdiction, even if clients are not resident in Canada, may require registration.” However, the regulators indicate that they have decided to provide exemptions for these firms, subject to certain conditions.
Except for the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which doesn’t have the power to issue a blanket order, the rest of the CSA are issuing orders that grant an exemption from the registration requirements. The conditions on firms utilizing the exemption include that: they cannot serve Canadian clients; they must report to regulators that they are relying on the exemption; and, they must be in compliance with U.S. securities law.
While the OSC can’t issue these sorts of blanket orders, the CSA notice indicates that OSC staff “would consider recommending the OSC grant exemptive relief on substantially the same terms” to firms that apply for it.