As more Ontarians (and Canadians) are compelled to be self-reliant in saving for retirement and are forced into the markets due to declining availability of employer-sponsored pension plans, the inadequacy of the current regulatory regime for financial planning and financial advice has rightly become a serious concern for government policy-makers and society as a whole. FAIR Canada strongly believes that what is urgently needed is a comprehensive and coordinated solution and one that keeps its focus squarely on consumers’ needs and their capabilities. There is overwhelming evidence that consumers are not adequately protected in the existing regulatory framework and reform is urgently needed. FAIR Canada believes that the following is required: a regulatory regime that oversees whether the products being sold to consumers meet their needs and are in their best interests; consistent treatment of consumers across the regulatory spectrum; an adequately funded and informed consumer voice that is part of the policymaking process; and a statutory best interest standard applicable whenever financial advice is provided to consumers.
FAIR Canada Provides Comments to Expert Committee on Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives
Advisors’ failure rate in recent “mystery shopping” tests: 37%. Imagine if doctors performed that badly
About a year and a half ago, CBC’s investigative consumer affairs show Marketplace aired a report exposing atrocious investment advice. Concealed cameras and microphones recorded advisors exaggerating the returns that could be expected from low-risk investments, deflecting discussion about a product’s risks, giving vague or mangled answers to questions about […]
FAIR Canada provided comments to the MFDA regarding the MFDA’s discussion paper on the development of continuing education requirements. While FAIR Canada supports the MFDA’s introduction of continuing education requirements, it reminded the MFDA that a comprehensive approach to improve the proficiency of MFDA Approved Persons is urgently needed. Simply […]
FAIR Canada provided comments on the MFDA’s proposed amendments to MFDA Rule 1.2 (Individual Qualifications) regarding proficiency and outside business activities. Firstly, FAIR Canada urged the MFDA, as well as the CSA and IIROC, to promptly engage in a thorough, public review of proficiency standards for both individuals and firms that offer advice to retail investors, noting that the proficiency standard should be raised to align with the image of professionalism that such individuals and their firms portray. FAIR Canada also noted that, on account of the trust and reliance placed on “Approved Persons” by investors, proficiency standards likely are inadequate. Secondly, FAIR Canada opposes the proposed amendments to the MFDA requirements regarding outside business activities. FAIR Canada believes that Members’ concern about required breadth of disclosure of outside business activities to clients is misplaced, and the resulting proposal to narrow this requirement is inappropriate. The proposed changes are not in the interests of investors or in the broader public interest. The proposed amendments should be shelved.
FAIR Canada provided comments to the CSA regarding the proposal for Mandating a Summary Disclosure Document for Exchange-Traded Funds and its Delivery (the “Notice”). FAIR Canada supports the development of concise, meaningful, plain language documents for various types of investment funds, including exchange traded funds (“ETF”), but notes that in […]
FAIR Canada offered comments to the MFDA regarding the proposed changes to MFDA Rule 5.3.2 (Content of Account Statement) to require that MFDA Members disclose to their clients, on the account statement, that they are members of and regulated by the MFDA. FAIR Canada supported the MFDA’s efforts to promote […]
The Ontario Ministry of Finance (the “Ministry”) assembled an Expert Advisory Panel (the “Panel”) to review the mandates of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (“FSCO”), Financial Services Tribunal (“FST”) and Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (“DICO”). As part of the review, the Panel spent the summer consulting relevant industry representatives, […]
On August 31st FAIR Canada provided comments in response to IIROC’s request for input on three questions relating to their strategic planning process. FAIR Canada noted that IIROC’s strategic priorities should be determined by IIROC’s mandate: to regulate in the public interest by protecting investors and market integrity. To that end, FAIR Canada reminded IIROC that now, […]
It’s been a rough few years for Canada’s Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). First, two of the country’s largest banks began boycotting OBSI’s dispute-resolution process. Then, some banks tried to pull their brokerage subsidiaries out, too. In the confrontation that followed, OBSI’s mandate got trimmed back. It lost […]
Amanda Lang discusses with Neil Gross, Executive Director of FAIR Canada, the high fees that Canadians pay for their mutual funds, the possible reasons why Canadians pay some of the highest fees in the developed world and to what extent CRM2 will have an impact, when investment dealers are required […]