Firms must get moving on Quebec NRD deadline

By Philip Porado | March 11, 2005 | Last updated on March 11, 2005
3 min read

(March 11, 2005) Registration professionals at securities firms must go back and input data for all their Quebec registered personnel, now that the province has reworked its privacy laws to allow use of the National Registration Database (NRD).

Data on registered representatives in all other provinces were inputted in 2003, according to Olu Muili, a securities law clerk at McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto. “NRD came on in 2003 without Quebec,” she said. “Firms knew that people would have to go back and do it all over when Quebec came on board.”

Quebec’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) has asked firms to input data by surname and set a schedule by which filings are to be complete, according to a registration specialist at a large bank-owned securities firm. Registrations for people with last names starting in A and B were supposed to have been completed in January, and those with names ending in C were supposed to have been entered during February. The goal is to get through the entire alphabet and complete the project by November 30.

But the project is behind schedule, according to comments made by several attendees at a Strategy Institute conference this week that covered NRD and National Registration System issues. Prema Thiele, a partner at Borden, Ladner, Gervais in Toronto, said some firms have indicated they’ve missed the January and February deadlines. Susan Toews, a senior legal counsel with the British Columbia Securities Commission, commented, “It’s a large amount of work to do in a small amount of time.”

The registration specialist said some people she’s talked with have opted to complete the forms branch by branch. “That way they know everyone using a given branch transit identification is registered,” she said. Firms choosing that approach have to obtain an exemption from the alphabetical requirement from the AMF.

The biggest challenge is gathering the information needed to produce a complete NRD profile for each registrant. The forms that had been in use in Quebec were short, and didn’t contain many details. By contrast, the NRD registration requires 10 years of history, a rundown of disciplinary actions, and details about all the places where a representative has worked. “It’s all on a computer screen but it comes to the equivalent of 15 or 16 pages, whereas the old Quebec form was two pages,” the registration specialist said.

“Someone who’s new off the street is a snap. But if they’ve been in the business 20 years, it can take a day going back and forth between the firm and the applicant about details. And sometimes you have to go to the regulators to see what information they have that has to be included.”

She said registering people who live in other provinces, but do business in Quebec, is not difficult. “Those people are already in the NRD, so to add them it’s just a click and a check in the box.”

The most irritating aspect, according to a regulatory specialist at a large bank, is that, “you file the registration information electronically on NRD, but then you have to send AMF a paper cheque.”

Filed by Philip Porado, Advisor’s Edge,


Philip Porado