Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada President and CEO Andrew J. Kriegler poses for a portrait on April 27, 2018. One of the watchdogs for Canada’s investment industry says it’s working towards creating regulatory safeguards for clients who may be targets of financial exploitation, particularly seniors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Industry watchdog pushing for safeguards for vulnerable Canadian investors

The protections would particularly help seniors

One of the watchdogs for Canada’s investment industry says it’s working towards creating regulatory safeguards for clients who may be targets of financial exploitation, particularly seniors.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada says a survey done for IIROC found wide public support for having tools and rules in place to protect vulnerable clients.

The idea of having a ”trusted contact” on file, who can be consulted by an investment professional who suspects a client is being exploited or vulnerable, was supported by 93 per cent of 1,000 people surveyed for IIROC.

IIROC is a private-sector body that shares responsibility for regulating about 160 Canadian investment dealers, including subsidiaries of the country’s major banks.

Andrew Kriegler, IIROC’s chief executive officer, says that the next step is to work out the details with other regulatory bodies including the provincial and territorial regulators represented by the Canadian Securities Administrators.

While there’s strong support for putting protections in place, he says “Canadians want us to do it right.”

“And doing it right … means respecting privacy and not compromising that in a rush to do a simple answer.”

The desire for privacy runs deep with many people and investment professionals want to be sure they don’t overstep a line if they interfere with a client’s decision, Kriegler suggests.

“Viewed from one perspective, that’s an intrusive act. It’a surrendering of control,” he says.

“It may be done for exactly the right reasons … but, inherently, that’s a surrendering of control, a surrendering of privacy, a surrendering of mastery over your own life, over your own decisions.”

“And I think that’s inherently a tricky question.”

But Kriegler says there’s also evidence, from one of Canada’s largest groups representing older people, that there is need for some sort of protection for seniors.

He cites an estimate from the Canadian Association for Retired Persons that about one-in-five older Canadians are subject to elder financial abuse and notes that dementia may also reduce the abilities of people as they age.

Immigrants are another potentially vulnerable group, although IIROC hasn’t collected information on that front.

“We didn’t address that question in the survey work,” Kriegler says. “It would be speculation but I think reasonable speculation.”

In fact, he says, all of the issues are likely magnified when a client is uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the system and that’s one reason IIROC wants to tread carefully in conjunction with other Canadian regulatory bodies.

They would include the CSA members and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association, another of the financial industry’s self-regulating organizations.

The survey, conducted by The Strategic Counsel, involved 1,000 people selected from IIROC’s online advisory pool of 10,000 investors.

Besides support for establishing a trusted contact, the Strategic Counsel survey of 1,000 people found 89 per cent of respondents supported giving investment advisers and firms the ability to put a “temporary hold” on account activity.

Support was also high (86 per cent) for providing a regulatory “safe harbour” to protect investment advisers who second-guess a client’s instructions, either by placing a temporary hold or consulting the trusted contact.

“I think investment dealers want regulatory certainty and that’s what’s behind the whole safeharbour idea,” Kriegler says. “This gives them the cover to take the right actions on behalf of the client.”

ALSO READ: Victoria resident barred from trading securities for fraud

ALSO READ: B.C. man raised more than $450K while pretending to be licensed day-trader: BCSC

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ucluelet and Tofino mayors call for “calmness” and “empathy” as highway closure cuts communities off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

UPDATED: Tofino-Ucluelet highway will be open for “essential travel only” on Friday

Vehicles will be screened at the Tofino/Ucluelet junction and at Sproat Lake.

Tofino shakes up emergency notification service

“You can download maps and it has more functionality.”

Dylan Green set to launch B.C.’s first ride-hailing app in Tofino

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

Most Read