The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) published its 2020-2021 annual report Sept. 8, discussing its successes for the year and its outlook, priorities and areas of focus in the year to come.

Throughout the report, heavily focused on IIROC’s objective “to support the evolution of the self-regulatory model,” IIROC discusses how a new, single, consolidated self-regulatory organization (SRO) would better protect Canadians.

“Under the leadership of the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and together with our colleagues at the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA), we will create a new and enhanced self-regulatory organization – one which is more effective and efficient and will better protect investors and support healthy Canadian capital markets,” states IIROC’s president and CEO, Andrew Kriegler. “IIROC supports this initiative completely and congratulates the CSA for taking this important step to serve Canadians more efficiently,” he adds.

Remote surveillance 

In the past year, IIROC’s report says its market surveillance team successfully conducted surveillance remotely during a time when market volumes were setting records that were double what they had been before the pandemic’s onset. During the year, IIROC says it monitored more than 630-million trades across six stock exchanges and five equity alternative trading systems.  “Although this past year has been punctuated with uncertainty, IIROC has continued to provide regulation without interruption,” states the regulator.

Currently IIROC regulates 174 dealer members and 31,061 approved persons. Going forward, areas of focus include effectively managing issues that continue to arise from the pandemic, advancing initiatives related to investor protection, and continuing work to evolve the SRO model in Canada.

Client focused reform 

Specifically, IIROC says it will focus on plans to establish an expert investor issues panel. It will also explore ways to return investors’ disgorged funds collected from advisors and firms disciplined by IIROC. Other priorities include examining the point at which service levels and access to trading becomes an investor protection issue. Its work with the CSA includes work in support of the development of a safe harbour rule, work to ensure crypto-asset trading platforms are properly regulated, and client focused reform rule amendments. IIROC is also focused on its derivatives rule reform initiatives, and work to continue developing competency profiles for the industry.