On February 5, 2015, the Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) published final amendments to OSC Rules 13-502 Fees and 13-503 (Commodities Futures Act) Fees (the “Final Amendments”) after having reviewed and considered comments received on the proposed amendments initially published in September 2014. The OSC also approved the rescission and replacement of Companion Policy 13-502CP Fees and Companion Policy 13-503 (Commodity Futures Act) Fees (the “Final CP Changes”).
The Final Amendments are intended to provide a simplified and streamlined fee regime, introducing adjustments to ensure that the fees charged by the OSC are aligned more closely with the OSC’s costs, and will allow market participants to calculate their participation fees based on their most recent fiscal year information (for registrants, the most recent fiscal year ending in the calendar year), as opposed to the previous model which required calculating fees based on historical information from a market participant’s reference fiscal year. By allowing market participants to use the most recent fiscal year, participant fees will more closely track current market conditions and the participant’s current fiscal situation, resulting in an increase or decrease in fees payable which more closely reflects the actual changes in the business conditions and performance of a participant.
A small number of new activity fees have also been introduced, primarily for purposes of achieving better matching of revenues to costs incurred for specific activities, for instance, in the case of takeover bid fees, and to improve the fairness and consistency of approach within the rule more generally. Various minor administrative changes have also been introduced in an effort to improve fairness and compliance, and to reduce regulatory burden in certain areas, for example, by reducing the collection of minor fees.
Subject to necessary approvals, the Final Amendments and the Final CP Changes are expected to come into force on April 6, 2015, and will be effective in time for participants to avoid increases in participation fee rates that were scheduled to come into effect under the existing rules.