An overwhelming share of Canadian investors wants tougher industry oversight and harmonized regulation, according to a new survey published by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA).
The survey, which polled 2,000 investors in July and August, found that 88% want to see regulators provide stricter industry oversight. The survey also found that 91% of respondents said that similar investment products and services should be similarly regulated.
According to the survey, 69% of investors said they favour reconsidering self-regulation from the ground up, rather than simply merging the MFDA with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
IIROC has advocated for a merger with the MFDA, whereas the MFDA has proposed a broader restructuring, with all registered firms coming under a single SRO and market regulation being delegated to another body.
However, the survey also found that 79% of investors said they aren’t familiar with the existing SRO structure.
“Given the significant responsibility of SROs in performing front-line regulation of advisory firms that provide advice, products and services to investors, it is no surprise that Canadians want a future SRO model that reflects appropriate investor protection, including strengthened accountability and governance,” said Mark Gordon, president and CEO of the MFDA, in a release.
“A truly modern and forward looking SRO must reduce regulatory complexity, be investor focused and ultimately, pursue the public interest over all other interests,” Gordon added.
The Canadian Securities Administrators are currently in the midst of a review of the SRO framework.