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.

Just Posted

LETTER: Elderly Maple Ridge woman grateful to retrieve her purse

Arlene Streng wishes she could personally thank the kind ‘lady’ who rescued her

Flu shots now available in pharmacies and clinics

15 locations in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

E-mountain bikes now will be riding to the rescue

Maple Ridge squad can get to lost people, faster

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

$50,000 reward for ‘extremely violent’ South Surrey murder suspect renewed

Offer for information on Brandon Teixeira to remain in effect through April, 2020

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Most Read