Interim report explains how CSA has worked to lighten regulatory burden despite COVID-19 challenges
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) has published an interim progress report outlining the advances it has made on priority initiatives in its three-year business plan.
“Faced with challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, our members responded swiftly and in a harmonized manner in support of investors and market participants alike,” Louis Morisset, Chair of the CSA and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers, said in a statement. “Despite such unprecedented events, we were able to stay the course in what we set out to undertake in the 2019-2022 Business Plan.”
The report highlighted some key first-year accomplishments, including:
- The published final form of rule amendments to implement client-focused reforms;
- The publication of final rule amendments that, except in Ontario, prohibit mutual and other investment funds from paying upfront sales commissions to dealers; and
- Continued broad efforts to lighten the regulatory burden on all market participants.
It also highlighted other initiatives to improve investor protection and enhance the advisor-client relationship, including a collaboration with the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) to ensure consistent disclosures of cost and performance information by investment funds and segregated funds.
“The CSA has renewed its focus on strengthening the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) as an independent dispute resolution service provider,” the report said.
The watchdog group is also advancing its project to develop a financial market analysis platform (MAP), which will collect and visualize market data. With a launch targeted for this year, the CSA’s MAP will replace its current MICA system, which is mainly used to assist with investigations of market manipulation and insider trading.
“The CSA and IIROC [Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada] continue to review the comments and responses to Join CSA/IIROC Consultation Paper 21-402 Proposed Framework for Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms,” the report said.
Among other recent initiatives, it highlighted the blanket relief orders, investor alerts, and other ad hoc initiatives launched in the thick of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as its ongoing review seeking an SRO model that will be appropriate for Canadian capital markets going forward.
“Finally, the CSA contemplates introducing a Canadian regulatory regime for the financial benchmarks and work on a proposed regime for commodity benchmarks,” the report said. “As per our international commitments, we will continue to advance our work on the registration and business conduct rules for derivatives.”