CSA has just given advance notice of a Consultation Paper it plans to release towards the end of April. While the notice is sparse on specifics, it’s easy to get the impression the regulators are ready to act on the best interest standard that’s been floating around as a possibility the past few years.

Read: Disclosure is broken: CSA best interest roundtable (from 2013)

“Regulatory action is required to better align the interests of registrants to the interests of their clients, to improve outcomes for clients, and to clarify the nature of the client-registrant relationship for clients,” the CSA press release says. “It is in this context that the CSA will be launching an important consultation on specific proposals to enhance the obligations of registrants towards their clients, and we invite stakeholders to be aware of this upcoming publication.”

The press release says the forthcoming publication “follows” the regulators’ previous work focused on whether a best interest duty would be appropriate:

“The Consultation Paper is the result of continuing CSA work, including consultations and research on the relationship between clients and registrants. It follows the publication on December 17, 2013, of CSA Staff Notice 33-316 – Status Report on Consultation under CSA Consultation Paper 33-403: The Standard of Conduct for Advisers and Dealers: Exploring the Appropriateness of Introducing a Statutory Best Interest Duty When Advice is Provided to Retail Clients (CSA Staff Notice 33-316). CSA Staff Notice 33-316 provided a status report on the best interest consultation initiative and identified key themes that emerged from the initial CSA consultation paper on the appropriateness of introducing a statutory best interest standard, which was published on October 25, 2012″ (bold added to original).

We’ll have to wait until April to see what exactly CSA has cooked up. But this isn’t the first hint that a best interest standard is coming sooner rather than later.

Also read:

OSC’s draft priorities target advisor comp and best interest standard

OSC faces backlash on fiduciary standard (from 2013)