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The Ontario Securities Commission’s Investor Advisory Panel will spend the coming year monitoring the pandemic’s impact on investors, pushing for the implementation of client-focused reforms and seeking redress for harmed investors, the committee’s annual report says.

The independent committee that advises the commission on investor protection initiatives released its 2019 annual report on Thursday, summarizing its activities in the last calendar year and offering an outlook of its upcoming activities.

In addition to tracking the pandemic’s impact on markets and investors, the report said the panel will “push for meaningful change” in areas relevant to investors. These include timely implementation of the client-focused reforms and improvements in processes to secure redress for harmed investors.

Last month, the Canadian Securities Administrators gave firms more time to implement the client-focused reforms due to disruptions caused by Covid-19. The new conflict of interest provisions were pushed back by six months to June 30, 2021, and new disclosure requirements were delayed by a year to Dec. 31, 2021.

The panel also said it will play an important role in providing feedback on the commission’s regulatory reduction efforts.

“We will continue to urge the OSC to examine and update its own process of policy development and rule-making so it can bring matters to completion and implementation more swiftly,” the report said.

The panel said it would be “particularly vigilant” in identifying products, strategies and initiatives that pose risks to investors. And it applauded the ban on trailing commissions paid to order-execution-only dealers and on deferred sales charges (in all jurisdictions except Ontario).

Among the panel’s activities last year, the report noted the survey on advice, which found that many mass-market investors aren’t receiving basic planning information.

The survey will provide policymakers with relevant empirical evidence to evaluate the merits of trailing commissions and other forms of embedded compensation, the report said.