The Canadian Securities Administrators (other than Quebec), IIROC and the MFDA yesterday released the first annual report of OBSI's Joint Regulators Committee, which highlights the committee's major activities for 2014. 

As we previously discussed, registered dealers and advisers outside Quebec must now offer OBSI's services in order to satisfy their obligations to make independent dispute resolution or mediation services available to clients. The JRC was formed to (i) facilitate a holistic approach to information sharing among the CSA, IIROC, the MFDA and OBSI and monitor the dispute resolution process with a view to promoting investor protection and confidence in the external dispute resolution system; (ii) support fairness, accessibility and effectiveness of the dispute resolution process; and (iii) facilitate regular communication and consultation among JRC members and OBSI. 

The JRC thus considered a number of matters last year, including compensation refusals, establishing a protocol to define potential systemic cases and setting out a regulatory approach to address these issues when reported by OBSI, and the independent evaluation of OBSI required to be completed by next year. 

OBSI also updated the JRC on a number of matters, including OBSI process enhancements, onboarding of new membership groups and segregated funds and the protocol for cooperation between OBSI and the Ombudservice for Life and Health Insurance cooperation. OBSI also reported to the JRC on the adoption of a blanket tolling agreement to suspend limitation periods while OBSI considers a complaint. The tolling agreement applies to new complaints received after October 27, 2014.