In their latest effort to keep a lid on growing regulatory burdens, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) are proposing a series of reforms to streamline issuers’ disclosure requirements.
The CSA has published a set of proposals that aim to cut down on the amount of duplicative, needless, or unproductive disclosure that corporate issuers provide to investors, without compromising the basic investor protection objective underlying those disclosure obligations.
Among other things, the CSA is proposing to to eliminate certain redundant reporting requirements; to combine financial statements, MD&A and annual information forms into a single annual disclosure document; and to fill a couple of existing disclosure gaps with new requirements.
“We expect the proposed amendments will reduce regulatory burden by fostering streamlined reporting and increasing reporting efficiency for reporting issuers,” the CSA said in its notice. “We also believe the proposed amendments will increase the quality and usability of the disclosure to be provided to investors.”
It would also rely on the “access equals delivery” model for providing the new annual disclosure to investors.
At the same time, the regulators are considering whether to allow venture issuers that don’t also have to report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to move to semi-annual reporting rather than quarterly reporting, on a voluntary basis.
That reporting proposal is conceptual rather than concrete. The CSA isn’t proposing a specific rule for semi-annual reporting, it’s seeking feedback on the idea.
An earlier CSA consultation proposed allowing semi-annual reporting generally, but it’s now considering a more limited approach (voluntary semi-annual reporting for certain venture issuers).
“The proposed amendments are expected to streamline reporting requirements and enhance reporting efficiency for issuers, and increase the quality and usefulness of the information investors receive,” said Louis Morisset, chair of the CSA and president and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), in a release.
The proposals are out for a 120-day comment period, ending Sept. 17, 2021.
The CSA indicated that the proposed changes are intended to take effect by Dec. 15, 2023.