At a meeting, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) board of directors approved new relief measures for dealer members who are experiencing difficulties complying with IIROC’s dealer member rules because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a notice June 5, IIROC outlined the new relief measures, and provided a summary of the relief applications it received as of May 31.

“IIROC’s objective was to provide firms, where necessary, flexibility to service their clients with mitigating controls or processes to maintain investor protection in this challenging operational environment,” they say, adding that IIROC reviews each case to ensure that investor protection is not compromised and that alternative approaches proposed by dealers applying for relief, “meet the spirit and intent of the underlying IIROC requirement.”

Thus far, IIROC says it has received a total of 94 applications from 46 different member firms. Relief is available for client document approvals, timelines for reporting obligations, supervision requirements, late filing fees, margin-related matters, registration and proficiency and identity verification practices.

Related to registration and proficiency, at its most recent meeting the IIROC board also approved relief from automatic suspension when an approved person does not meet proficiency requirements because the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) has suspended all in-person examinations. It also approved relief from rules which require dealers to pay a fee for exemption applications filed on the National Registration Database. “Absent an exemption, in some cases individuals would be suspended and dealers would be unable to register individuals in key positions,” they write. IIROC says relief in each case is conditional on individuals completing their outstanding requirements within 120 days of CSI resuming in-person examinations.