Regulators sign consumer protection agreement

Provincial insurance regulator takes steps to further clampdown on disciplined professionals

Investment professionals who face discipline from one regulator may soon be hit with action from another.

That’s because an insurance regulator in Ontario has signed an agreement with the watchdog of the brokerage industry in Canada to ensure that anyone facing discipline is reviewed by both bodies.

The agreement has been reached between the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. The idea is meant to quell fears that because many financial advisors have the right to sell multiple products they could be disciplined, or even banned, in one area of financial services – but yet continue to operate in another.

Speaking about the agreement, Andrew Kriegler, the IIROC’s chief executive officer, commented that there was a need for investors to be protected from disciplined individuals.

Brian Mills, the interim CEO and super intendent of financial services in Ontario, highlighted that industry lines have become increasingly blurred in recent years and, as such, it had become a necessity for there to be increased co-operation and co-ordination between regulators. Consumer protection, he believes, must be at the forefront.

The memorandum of understanding between the two organizations outlines that any disciplinary action carried out by one regulator will automatically lead to a review by the other. This will look at the suitability of the individual to work within that field.