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The shift to remote working in response to the Covid-19 outbreak is giving regulators a push toward wider acceptance of electronic signatures.

In a notice, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) said that it has revised its rules to enable fund dealers to continue providing certain documents to the regulator with electronic signatures, including audit reports, subordinated loan agreements, guarantees and undertakings.

Historically, regulators have required firms to provide physical copies of certain documents, but that’s now changing.

The MFDA said that both the law and technology have evolved to facilitate greater use of electronic signatures. At the same time, the pandemic has pushed both fund dealers and the MFDA to largely operate remotely.

“Given these developments, MFDA staff has been accepting documents in electronic format and intends to continue this practice,” the MFDA said.

The self-regulatory organization said that its staff will also be revising certain requirements to clarify the ability of dealers to submit documents electronically as part of its rule-review project.