IIAC Calls for End to CSI Monopoly

By Andrew Rickard | December 01 2014 01:09PM

The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) is questioning the value of the proficiency courses given by the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI), and suggests that it may be time to open up securities education to competition.

The CSI's contract to provide the Canadian Securities Course and Practices Handbook Course, which all advisors are obliged to take in order to sell securities, is coming up for renewal. The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has asked for comments on the subject, and in its submission the IIAC called the value of the CSI's courses into question.

IIAC says that many of its members believe CSI is "charging unnecessary high rates", and suggests that the price increases implemented since 2001 are unjustified given the quality of the examination questions and what IIAC describes as an "inadequate" exam format.

"Overall, members do not believe that CSI has been providing value relative to its cost nor offering the highest quality of education," concludes the IIAC letter. "In short, as a matter of principle, we strongly believe that competition drives innovation and efficiency, which cannot be said for the current proficiency assurance model with its exclusive reliance on CSI. Given all of these issues, the IIAC is of the view that our members need the opportunity for greater choice and access with respect to education and proficiency requirements for their individual registrants."