Today marks the deadline for submissions to the OSC on its initiative to reduce regulatory burden on the industry, investors and issuers.
IFIC made its submission today, offering suggestions in four key areas: improvements to the rule-making process, to the OSC’s operations and to the CSA’s information technology (IT) systems, and changes to current rules.
Among the suggestions for changes to current rules, the institute recommends a consistent, national approach to reporting outside business activities, and it urges an amnesty period to permit registrants to report these activities, as well as a reduction in late filling fees.
IFIC also suggests reducing certain continuous disclosure requirements for investment fund issuers so that “financial statements will be easier to understand, simpler to prepare and less costly to audit.”
Rule-making improvements include “robust” cost-benefit analyses of potential rule changes. As it stands, the OSC’s analyses “often contain a perfunctory acknowledgement of significant costs to the industry with an explanation of the desired benefits to investors,” IFIC says in its letter, “but this does not appear to be supported by meaningful analysis.”
Further, it says analysis of regulatory impacts should be part of the rule-making process.
IFIC also suggests the OSC be given authority to provide blanket exemptive relief, as the other CSA members have, instead of addressing individual applications. And routine exemptive relief should be codified.
Suggestions for improving OSC operations include clear articulation that guidance is for assistance with implementing compliance programs. As a result, OSC audits must focus on compliance with regulatory requirements, not guidance, IFIC says. Such a clarification would reduce regulatory burden by providing flexibility in complying with regulatory requirements.
“Industry members will have certainty that their compliance policies and procedures will not be judged inadequate solely in light of published guidance,” it says.
IFIC also suggests that the results of the OSC’s bi-annual risk assessment questionnaire, used to rate firms on compliance risk, be shared with firms, as is done by the BCSC and IIROC. That way, firms can better allocate their resources, it says.
Finally, as the CSA updates its IT systems — part of its business plan for 2016-2019 — IFIC suggests input be sought from industry stakeholders to improve work-flow processes.