Released Tuesday, March 20, 2018
FAIR Canada commends the Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) for giving priority to the growing concerns related to vulnerable older investors with the release of its Seniors Strategy. We look forward to working with the OSC and other stakeholders on next steps and associated initiatives.
FAIR Canada is pleased to see that the Seniors Strategy addresses:
In addition, we support an inclusive approach involving provincial and federal governments, self-regulatory organizations such as the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”), the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee (and their provincial counterparts) working together, in a collaborative fashion, in order in order to better protect, empower and support older Canadians.
FAIR Canada and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law released a joint report in November 2017 entitled “Report on Vulnerable Investors: Elder Abuse, Financial Exploitation, Undue Influence and Diminished Mental Capacity” (through funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario Access to Justice Fund). The joint report examined the issue of how elder financial abuse, undue influence and mental capacity challenges are serious and growing social concerns and examined how the investment industry could play a key role in addressing these issues. The joint report received strong support from many stakeholders including the OSC’s Investor Advisory Panel and the Investment Funds Institute of Canada.
Going forward, FAIR Canada urges the OSC and the Ontario government, federal government, and other provinces and securities regulators to work collaboratively to:
I. Address financial exploitation, undue influence and diminished mental capacity by consulting further with a view to adoption of the six recommendations contained in the joint report:
II. Provide better tracking and reporting structures regarding elder financial abuse and investment fraud.
III. Improve the internal complaint handling rules for investment firms and mutual fund dealers and implement binding decision-making for OBSI.
IV. Implement a meaningful statutory best interest standard so that investors, including older investors, receive the objective, professional financial advice they need and expect.
V. In conjunction with a statutory best interest standard, restrict the use of titles to three categories:
The OSC Seniors Strategy is an important initiative and step toward dealing with critical issues facing vulnerable investors. FAIR Canada looks forward to working with the OSC and other stakeholders in a collaborative fashion, participating in future consultations and to the adoption of meaningful recommendations for the benefit of vulnerable investors including older Canadians.
For further information:
Frank Allen, Executive Director, FAIR Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marian Passmore, Director of Policy and COO, FAIR Canada, email@example.com