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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.

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