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

Homicide team investigating after body found in Abbotsford

Resident finds deceased person on Keeping Road on Sumas Mountain

Fraser Valley Stage presents Mamma Mia!

Production comes to Abbotsford Arts Centre from Feb. 19-29

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on Abbotsford road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road

SLIDESHOW: The 8th annual Pet Lover Show at Abbotsford’s Tradex

RCMP service dogs, President’s Choice SuperDogs, the Catoro Cat Cafe and more

Abbotsford Islamic Centre hosts Open Mosque Day

Event on Saturday, Feb. 22 includes tours and kids’ activities

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Wet’suwet’en supporters against pipeline block rail tracks in Vancouver, impacting Amtrak

Amtrak services cancelled, turning back at the U.S.-Canada border

BC Ferries gets injunction against demonstrations in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

The preemptive injunction is a ‘last resort in the interest of public safety,’ spokesperson says

B.C. men arrested after theft of heavy equipment leads to highway blockade

One man surrendered to police while the other was taken into custody the next morning, RCMP say

PHOTOS: Trans Mountain hosts mock oil spill response practice in Kamloops

Practice comes after an excavator accidentally struck the pipeline near Jacko Lake in mid-February

Federal Indigenous services minister meets First Nation at rail blockade

Blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk territory near Belleville, Ont., is in its 10th day

Most Read