On June 13, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published a report card on their 2016-19 business plan as well as their 2019-2022 Business Plan (CSA Plan). The report card serves as a handy summary of recent regulatory developments at the national level. And although the CSA Plan doesn’t include any timelines for action, it does provide insight into what CSA members have agreed to prioritize in the next three years.
Some initiatives are already under way or previously announced, such as the proposed regulatory framework for over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, proposed rule changes relating to investment fund embedded commissions, and proposed client-focused reforms. We also noted the following action items of interest:
- Older and vulnerable investors: The CSA is developing a framework to address financial exploitation and cognitive impairment among older and vulnerable investors. This includes the staff guidance that we describe in more detail in this bulletin. In addition, the CSA intends to introduce a trusted contact person (TCP) requirement, as well as “direction for placing temporary holds on disbursements of funds or securities” where there is a reasonable belief of financial exploitation or cognitive impairment.
- Promotional activities in venture market: Recent developments in the venture market have raised concerns among the CSA that “stakeholder processes” for sharing relevant information and identifying regulatory issues relating to market oversight may not be working effectively. The CSA, therefore, plans to research the effectiveness of those processes, using the venture market as a case study. If the CSA concludes that further work is needed, a concept paper will be published.
The CSA also described initiatives to streamline regulation and reduce regulatory burdens, including the following:
- Rationalize investment fund disclosure: The CSA plans to remove redundant and ineffective disclosure and reporting requirements for investment funds to reduce the regulatory burden and provide more streamlined and useful disclosure to investors.
- Registration information: The CSA intends to modernize, streamline and improve the existing registration process to make it more efficient, make it less burdensome to apply for and maintain registration, and increase transparency with respect to the collection and use of personal information.
- Continuous disclosure: The CSA plans to streamline disclosure requirements for public companies in their annual and interim filings, consider the frequency of reporting, and amend the Business Acquisition Report (BAR) requirements.
- Improve access to capital for public companies: The CSA has published a proposal to liberalize the framework for at-the-market (ATM) offerings. It also is planning to consult on an alternative and streamlined offering system for public companies.