Canada has arrived at a “defining moment” for securities regulation, with major investor protection reforms under consideration, amid an aging population, and the prospect of a new federal-provincial regulator, according to a report published on Tuesday by the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights (FAIR Canada).
FAIR Canada’s Accountability Report: 2014-2017 reviews the investor advocacy group’s work over the past three years. The report highlights the group’s 70 regulatory submissions on various policy issues, the three conferences hosted by the group and its co-founding an investor protection clinic. It also details FAIR Canada’s finances.
In the report, FAIR Canada stresses the significance of the current policy debates that are currently taking place at the provincial regulators.
“I cannot overstate the importance of investor rights in today’s financial markets — Canadians who are not well served with financial advice and planning could become tomorrow’s seniors without the means to support themselves in retirement,” says Ermanno Paccutto, chairman, FAIR Canada, in the report.
This could have “serious economic and social implications,” Pascutto continues, noting that poverty rates for seniors are up notably.
“A trusted relationship that is not misplaced between savers and the industry that serves them is a critical ingredient for healthy markets — and Canadian society,” Pascutto adds.
He stresses that regulators must protect all investors.
“We are at a defining moment in securities regulation in Canada as we seek to ensure that it protects and meets the needs of all investors. There are potentially major reforms (best interest, conflicted compensation) in play at a time when some provincial regulators may be replaced by a proposed new regulator that has not yet shown itself to be focused on the protection of investors,” he says.
Looking ahead, FAIR Canada “will continue to call out practices that are hurting investors and to identify regulatory gaps that must be filled to protect investors,” says Frank Allen, executive director, in the report.
The group plans to do more outreach with investors, and partner with other organizations to improve the impact of its advocacy efforts, the report says.