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Latest Submissions

FSRA’s Proposed Rule [2020-001], Financial Professionals Title Protection (November 12, 2020)

Advocis responds to FSRA’s proposed framework for the protection of the titles of Financial Advisor and Financial Planner. We state that the purpose behind the exercise must be to enhance consumer protection – so FSRA should use this generational opportunity to enhance professional standards. We argue that a qualifying credential should be cross-sectoral and product-agnostic to reflect the primacy of the advisor-client relationship.

FSRA Proposed 2021-22 Statement of Priorities (November 3, 2020)

Advocis commented on FSRA's Proposed 2021-22 Statement of Priorities. We are pleased that FSRA remains focused on consumer protection, transitioning to a principles-based approach and regulatory modernization efforts. We voiced our desire to participate in key initiatives including the title protection framework for financial advisors and financial planners, enabling innovation and the regulation of segregated funds.

CSA's Consultation on the Self-Regulatory Organization Framework (October 23, 2020)

Reviewing the stakeholder comments and proposals from both IIROC and the MFDA, we feel that the need for a consolidated SRO is evident. Advocis encourages the CSA to act with urgency, and implement a single SRO that can respond effectively to the changing needs of Canadian businesses and investors.

Advocis-CALU joint letter to the Ministry of Finance on Beneficiary Designations (September 16, 2020)

A recent Ontario court decision could jeopardize estate planning as it found that a designated beneficiary of a registered asset held that asset in trust for the grantor's estate. In a joint submission to the Ministry of Finance, Advocis and CALU explain the implications of the decision and we urge the Government to amend certain laws to make clear when a designated beneficiary has the presumption of beneficial ownership.

Ontario Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce Consultation Report (September 4, 2020)

Advocis addresses specific recommendations in the Consultation Report and requests that the Taskforce consider including formal support for the title protection initiative and the CCMR project in its final report to the Minister of Finance.

Insurance Council of BC Consultation on Continuing Education Guidelines (July 31, 2020)

Advocis agrees that the development of comprehensive continuing education (“CE”) policies will make CE requirements easier to understand, provide better support for licensee obligations by addressing inconsistencies, and provide more specific direction and resources. We are also pleased that Council’s proposal introduces new measures that will grant British Columbia’s licensees more flexibility in how they earn and report their CE activities.

CSA’s Proposed Amendments to Enhance Protection of Older and Vulnerable Clients (July 20, 2020)

Advocis applauds the CSA for acting to protect vulnerable investors. We are encouraged that regulators are recognizing the importance of the advisor-client relationship and the role that advisors play in serving vulnerable clientele. However, we are concerned that absent appropriate “safe harbour” legal protections, financial advisors and dealers will find it difficult to manage the risks associated with using these tools to their full purpose.

OSCs current Statement of Priorities for 2020-2021 (June 1, 2020)

Advocis comments on the Ontario Securities Commission's current Statement of Priorities for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. We urge the OSC continue work on several pre-pandemic files that were in motion as their importance has only grown and we express our desire to work closely with the OSC on these files.

Advocis Urges Governments of Saskatchewan and Quebec to Ban Viatical and Life Settlements (May 25, 2020)

In March 2020, Nova Scotia joined seven other provinces in prohibiting viatical and life settlements by amending its Insurance Act to prohibit parties other than insurers or their authorized agents from purchasing insurance or insurance benefits. Advocis respectfully recommends that the Governments of Saskatchewan and Québec consider implementing similar measures. In addition to enhancing regulatory harmonization in the insurance industry, these measures would add protections for seniors and other vulnerable clients.

OSC Proposed Rule 81-502 Restrictions on the Use of the Deferred Sales Charge Option for Mutual Funds (May 21, 2020)

The OSC is proposing that the DSC option be allowed to continue in the province, with a series of new restrictions designed to limit their use to protect vulnerable investors. Advocis provides several recommendations to make the proposal more viable while not diluting the consumer protection measures.

COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group - Recommendations Regarding RDSPs (April 27, 2020)

Advocis provided recommendations regarding the minimum withdrawal rate for RDSPs to the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group established in response to the pandemic by the Government of Canada. Advocis suggested that the Advisory Group either suspend minimum RDSP withdrawals for this tax year or reduce minimum withdrawal rates significantly across all age schedules.

Department of Finance Canada Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Minimum Withdrawal Rate for Registered Retirement Income Funds (March 20, 2020)

Letter to Finance Canada regarding asking federal finance officials to consider modifications to minimum RRIF withdrawals, so clients are not forced to actualize paper losses into real ones.

2020 Ontario Budget Consultations (February 11, 2020)

Advocis commends the Government of Ontario for making the regulation of financial advisors and financial planners a priority. We discuss how Advocis’ goals align with the government’s objectives of protecting consumers and modernizing the securities regulatory framework.

The New Brunswick Financial and Consumer Services Commission consultation on incidental sales of insurance (January 31, 2020)

Advocis recommends that restricted licensing of the individuals engaging in incidental sales of insurance (ISI), rather than of business entities, would ensure optimal consumer protection. If individual sellers of ISI are licensed, they can be personally subject to regulatory discipline, which encourages compliance with the rules and best practices in the sale of insurance. This also would enhance regulatory accountability and promote professionalism.

CSA Proposed Amendments re: Reducing Regulatory Burden for Investment Fund Issuers – Phase 2, Stage 1 (December 11, 2019)

Advocis commends the CSA for taking action to reduce the regulatory burden for investment fund issuers, which will also impact financial advisors and their clients. Advocis is in favour of the CSA proposal that would require investment funds to have a designated website for disclosure. We also support the CSA's proposals to grant exemptive relief from Fund Facts delivery requirements in certain circumstances and to permit the consolidation of Fund Facts for classes and series of a mutual fund.

MFDA's Proposed CE Accreditation Process (September 20, 2019)

The MFDA Discussion Paper solicited feedback from all stakeholders on the MFDA’s proposed accreditation process pursuant to requirements under Proposed MFDA Rule 1.2.6 and Policy No. 9. In our response, Advocis encourages the MFDA to require all third-party accreditors to be not-for-profit organizations with appropriate codes of conduct and disciplinary processes. Advocis also recommends that the MFDA review existing CE tracking systems created by other regulators to identify whether there are further opportunities for burden reduction.

Advocis-CALU joint response to B.C.’s consultation on insurance rebating (September 16, 2019)

The B.C. Ministry of Finance is reviewing the Financial Institutions Act and Credit Union Incorporation Act. As part of its review, B.C. is proposing modifications to the way that insurance rebates are calculated. In a joint submission from Advocis and CALU, we argue that the practice of insurance rebating for life and health products should be outright prohibited, as rebating creates a series of consumer protection concerns that cannot be justified by an underlying policy rationale.

The Saskatchewan Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority’s review of the regulation of the “Financial Advisor” and “Financial Planner” titles (September 9, 2019)

The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan asked stakeholders to provide their thoughts on the regulation of the titles of “financial advisor” and “financial planner”, and particularly as to whether the province should mirror the approach taken by Ontario in its 2019 Budget. In Advocis’ response, we say that both titles must be protected as they represent two related but separate qualifications, and that mirroring Ontario’s approach would promote harmonization, which is key for consumer protection.

MFDA Proposed Amendments to Discretionary Trading (August 2, 2019)

Advocis commends the MFDA for listening to industry feedback and acting to reduce regulatory burden through the proposed amendments, which would allow Members to engage in very limited discretionary trading in respect of dealer-administered mutual fund model portfolios. In our view, the proposed amendments are an appropriate method to reduce unnecessary costs and administrative burden for Members, with the added benefit of reducing consumer confusion and enhancing investor protection.

OSC Statement of Priorities for 2019-2020 (May 27, 2019)

Advocis comments on the Ontario Securities Commission’s draft Statement of Priorities for 2019-2020. We discuss: the need to identify, measure and address regulatory burden, pointing to cost-benefit analyses, outside business activities, the client-focused reforms and the role of regtech; how to improve retail investors’ experience; our support for the Capital Markets Regulatory Authority; and the role of innovation and fintech.

2019 Ontario Budget Consultations (February 8, 2019)

Advocis commends the Government of Ontario’s commitment to reviewing the regulatory oversight of financial advisors and planners in the province. We discuss how the Government’s vision aligns with Advocis’ 2018-2022 strategic plan and commitment to advance the value and professionalism of advisors, in the best interest of consumers.

CSA Proposed Amendments to NI 81-105 (December 13, 2018)

Advocis understands that certain mutual fund sales practices can be misapplied by unprofessional advisors and this problem needs to be addressed. But the outright elimination of the DSC option would be the incorrect policy response. DSC is a tool; it is not inherently problematic and should be preserved as an option. Instead, there are better ways to strengthen consumer protection.

CSA Proposed Amendments to NI 31-103 (October 19, 2018)

The CSA’s client-focused reforms are promising, but they would be layered upon a product-based framework that does not reflect modern advice-giving. The reforms are also too narrowly focused on costs, and not value. The handling of conflicts of interest and disclosure require greater clarity. And the CSA’s approach to referral arrangements needs a complete re-think.

Legal and Regulatory Updates

Technology Bulletin: Introducing the Revamped Technology Task Force

Bulletin: Beneficiary Designations at Risk

Bulletin: Supreme Court Upholds Law Banning Genetic Discrimination

Bulletin: IIROC Releases its Vision for Improving Self-Regulation

Bulletin: Canada’s securities regulators propose tools to protect vulnerable clients

Bulletin: B.C.’s Financial Services Authority clarifies its position on the donation of life policies

Technology Bulletin: Consumer-Directed Finance and the Future of Financial Advice

Bulletin: The MFDA’s Vision for a Modern SRO

Technology Bulletin: Technology Task Force Report on Data Security

Bulletin: Looking Ahead Regulatory Change in 2020

Bulletin: Split Decision on the Fate of Deferred Sales Charges

Bulletin: Gaining Momentum: Title Protection Arrives in Saskatchewan

Bulletin: Canadian Securities Administrators Release Revised Client Reforms

Bulletin: Staying on Top of Fintech Developments

Bulletin: CLHIA Withdraws Guideline 19

Video: Interview with Ed Skwarek about the Ontario Budget and Professions Model

Bulletin: OSC Issues Moratorium on Late Filing Fees for Outside Business Activities

Bulletin: Advocis takes action on CLHIA Guideline 19

Bulletin: Ontario takes major step towards professionalization of financial advisors

Bulletin: Structural change on the horizon for Canadian securities and Ontario insurance regulation - February 2019

Bulletin: PIPEDA Privacy Breaches: Reporting, Notification & Record-keeping – November 2018

Bulletin: Ontario Government Consulting on the Regulation of Financial Planners – March 2018

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