Stacked white books on rules and regulations

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced plans on Thursday to consolidate its stand-alone filing systems into a single system, starting in 2021.

Overhauling the securities regulators’ various electronic filing systems is expected to both streamline the regulatory filing process for firms and reduce their filing costs.

The CSA said it plans to scrap stand-alone filing systems — including SEDAR, SEDI, the National Registration Database (NRD), the national CTO database, and its disciplined list —and replace them with a single, consolidated electronic filing system. The initiative is to be adopted in four phases, starting in 2021.

To start, the CSA is aiming to replace SEDAR, the CTO database, the disciplined list and certain electronic filings in British Columbia and Ontario. It proposed rule amendments to facilitate this first phase of systems redevelopment.

“Once fully implemented, the renewed system will provide more secure, single-window access for market participants to file documents and pay fees. The filing process will be more uniform, and the system will enforce modern access controls and expand public search functionality,” the CSA said in a notice outlining the proposed rule changes.

At the same time, the CSA also announced changes to its fee structure to reflect the new system. Among other things, it proposed moving to a flat-fee design, eliminating certain fees, and introducing new charges for certain services.

The CSA estimated that total system fees would decline by about 7% under the new model, saving a combined $1.7 million.

Some filers may see their fees rise under the revised system, while others will see them fall or stay the same.

The CSA estimates that fees will decrease or remain the same for 45% of market participants, 34% will see increases of under $100, another 20% are expected to have fees increase by up to $1,000, and 1% may see their fees jump by more than $1,000.

Alongside the expected decline in direct fees, the industry may see their internal compliance costs drop too, as the filing process should be simplified and improved.

“We are creating a single point of access for market participants that is simplified, more user-friendly and cost-effective,” said Louis Morisset, chair of the CSA and president and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).

“The new system will have several improved features, including a modern, browser-based interface and better search capabilities,” he added.