Taskforce report suggests radical changes to OSC

Under the heading of improved regulatory structure, the taskforce called for a single self-regulatory organization (SRO) regime under which all advisory firms would be overseen. The SRO (or SROs, in case progress toward consolidation of IIROC and the MFDA is slow) would in turn be subject to increased oversight under the OSC.

To achieve back-office efficiencies and optimize regulation of similar products, the report suggested that the OSC explore opportunities to consolidate resources and harmonize with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).

A number of recommendations also emphasized the need to support the growth independent dealers, including one notable suggestion to increase independent products’ access to bank-owned shelf distribution channels.

The report also suggested the introduction of a retail investment fund structure that pursues investment strategies in less liquid private markets, with a view to bridge a funding gap between small issuers that want to raise capital for their business and the many retail investors who want to invest in such products.

Touching on ESG, the taskforce called for mandated disclosure of material ESG information, specifically with respect to climate change in compliance with recommendations from the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). To support firms’ efforts to engage with activist shareholders, it also recommended that public companies and other reporting issuers be enabled to obtain data on their beneficial shareholders. Corporate diversity was also an area that requires enhancing, according to the report.

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