IIROC announces priorities for 2021

SRO seeks to further strengthen its enforcement toolkit, reiterates call for consolidation with MFDA

IIROC announces priorities for 2021

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has released its statement of priorities for the fiscal year ending in 2021, which lays out the areas it will focus on as it continues to protect investors and promote healthy capital markets.

“Despite the uncertainties and challenges of the current environment, IIROC's commitment to investor protection and healthy capital markets informs our priorities as we plan for the future,” IIROC President and CEO Andrew J. Kriegler said in a statement.

Highlighting the hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the group said it would continue monitoring government and public health directives across jurisdictions as it prioritizes the health and safety of employees, investors, and all Canadian market participants. It also promised to act in line with the CSA and other watchdogs worldwide, extending comment periods and implementation timelines for its initiatives as necessary.

IIROC also declared it’s undertaking a new initiative to explore ways to ensure disgorged funds it collects from advisors or firms it disciplines are returned to investors, including a review of other jurisdictions’ practices. Once it completes the review, it will publish a proposal soliciting input from stakeholders including the CSA, as well as seek any approval required from CSA.

“Returning wrongdoers’ ill-gotten gains to investors would be an additional layer to IIROC’s existing investor protection efforts,” IIROC said, noting that it currently has no authority to return funds to harmed investors.

Aside from interviewing individual complainants to improve its complaint-handling process, it promised to continue working with the CSA to develop a safe harbour rule and develop other tools to help dealers protect vulnerable seniors.

It will also continue seeking additional authority to strengthen its enforcement toolkit to ensure consistent levels of protection across all Canadian provinces. “During the past fiscal year, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan joined seven other provinces and the three territories in strengthening IIROC’s ability to collect fines from sanctioned individuals among other enforcement tools,” the SRO said.

In line with its commitment to support the evolution of the self-regulatory model, the group vowed to continue identifying and addressing rules that limit the appropriate use of technology, or impose unnecessary processes and costs. It also highlighted the CSA’s consultation on the Canadian framework for self-regulatory organizations, to which it responded with a proposal earlier this month to consolidate with the MFDA.

Other priorities it committed to uphold include, among others:

  • Seeking input on its plan to establish an Expert Investor Issues Panel (EIIP);
  • Adopting client-focused reform (CFR) rule amendments in accordance with extended CSA timelines;
  • Publishing post-trade information for government debt securities, in accordance with the CSA’s decision to expand IIROC’s role as Information processor; and
  • Continuing to support the development of a regulatory framework for crypto trading platforms


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