Effective immediately, targets of disciplinary actions from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) can secure lighter punishments by settling cases quickly.
The self-regulatory organization (SRO) has introduced a new initiative that would give both dealers and reps that are facing enforcement action the opportunity to secure a 30% discount on settlement sanctions in cases that are resolved more quickly.
According to an IIROC notice, the reduction could apply to both monetary penalties and to the length of a suspension, but these sorts of settlements “will most often be applicable in cases in which only a fine is sought,” the SRO said.
“While there are often valid reasons for the extensive negotiation of settlements, we believe there is an opportunity to achieve earlier resolutions in more cases, which leads to greater efficiency, more timely deterrence and effectively addresses investor harm,” said Charles Corlett, vice president, enforcement, at IIROC, in a release.
“We want to encourage individuals to proactively cooperate and encourage firms to take remedial measures and address any investor harm through voluntary acts of compensation,” he added.
At the same time, the SRO said that it has decided not to introduce a proposed program that would have sought to address relatively minor rule violations with standard penalties, and no public disclosure.
IIROC decided to withdraw that proposal based on public feedback, including complaints that the practice of handing out anonymous discipline would not be in the public interest.
There were also concerns about the clarity of the criteria under the proposed “minor contravention program”.
For now, the SRO is withdrawing the proposed program, but it noted that it may make a new proposal in this area after considering possible alternative approaches.
Both measures were developed by the SRO as part of an effort to expand its enforcement options, and to enhance its ability to efficiently deal with certain kinds of disciplinary cases.
“Strengthening enforcement is one of IIROC’s strategic initiatives and plays a key role in our efforts to protect investors and support healthy Canadian capital markets,” said Corlett.