The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) said it has been granted new legal powers to collect fines from wrongdoers it has disciplined through the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island (PEI). In addition, the IIROC has been granted the authority to require the cooperation of witnesses at disciplinary hearings held in the province.
As a result, the IIROC now has the ability to collect administrative fines directly through court in three Canadian provinces – Prince Edward Island, Alberta and Quebec. Alberta has also granted the organization witness calling and evidence-gathering authorities. As a result, the organization’s collection rate in these provinces are higher than the national rate.
Prior to expanding its powers, the IIROC required approval from the Superintendent of Securities for each case on an individual basis before filing an enforcement decision with the relevant Supreme Court to acquire approval to collect fines.
“IIROC continues to encourage provincial and territorial governments across the country to make legislative changes that will strengthen our ability to protect investors – Canadian investors and our capital markets desirve nothing less,” said IIROC CEO and president Andrew Kriegler. “Our collaboration [with the PEI Superintendent of Securities] means that IIROC can be a more effective public interest regulator that holds wrongdoers accountable when they harm investors,” he added.
IIROC is a Canadian national self-regulatory organization (SRO) which oversees investment dealers and their trading activity on the local debt and equity markets.
IIROC has some $30 million in unpaid fines since 2008. In 2016, the IIROC levied more than $4.5 million against individuals and businesses across Canada, but collected less than 20% of the amount. Collected fines are used for financing initiatives that further investor protection, promote investor education, and support financial literacy.
In Canada, provinces have their own securities authorities and their regulatory frameworks can vary in the different areas.