IIROC publishes priorities for 2018

The organization’s principal strategy priorities include policy development and enforcement

IIROC publishes priorities for 2018
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has published its strategic priorities for 2018, identifying key areas to enhance investor protections and the health of Canada’s capital markets.

“IIROC will continue to focus on priorities that enable us to provide more efficient and effective regulation that can adapt to changes in the investment industry and investor behaviour,” said IIROC President and CEO Andrew J. Kriegler.

On the investor protection front, one of IIROC’s main policy initiatives involves managing conflicts in clients’ best interest. Potential conflicts in compensation are an area of focus, as well as sales targets, the quality of disclosures, and compliance with National Instrument 81-105: Mutual Fund Sales Practices.

IIROC said it would work with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) to make sure that requirements are harmonized and synchronized. It also aims to clarify that disclosure alone is not enough to address conflicts, and dealers should use other means to avoid or address conflicts before considering disclosure.

The organization faces a challenge as it simultaneously aims to tighten investor protections and make its requirements adaptable to industry shifts. “In FY18, we will work with the industry to determine whether our requirements present any unnecessary barriers, and if so, how they should change to align with evolving business models,” IIROC said in the notice announcing its priorities.

In terms of enforcement, IIROC looks to pursue and act on additional powers, protections, and tools. These include:
  • Increasing fine collections against individuals through expanded legal authority (enhanced recently by Ontario’s amendments to legislation concerning self-regulatory organizations);
  • Obtaining statutory immunity for IIROC and its personnel when acting in the public interest;
  • Seeking powers to strengthen evidence collection, including requiring cooperation from non-IIROC regulated entities when needed; and
  • Acquiring alternative forms of disciplinary action

Other principal strategic priorities include finalizing a plain-language rulebook and introducing training for dealers, conducting investor research on key policy issues, and initiating the implementation of a new surveillance system for enhanced market supervision.

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