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As the effects of Covid-19 continue to weigh on the economy and the financial industry, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) is prepared to extend relief through the first half of next year.

The industry self-regulatory organization (SRO), which has been providing a variety of exemptions from certain regulatory requirements since the pandemic emerged in March, has extended the authority of its staff to continue providing firms with relief.

This action includes measures to accommodate the realities of remote working, such as exemptions to allow greater use of electronic signatures, relief from certain in-person oversight obligations, and late filing fee waivers, among other things.

Now, IIROC has authorized its staff to extend relief until June 30, 2021.

Since the pandemic began, 71 firms have sought various forms of relief in a total of 186 applications.

Many of the initial exemptions expired on Oct. 1. IIROC reported that it has since approved extensions for 18 of these measures.

Additionally, the SRO’s board has also approved allowing staff to provide relief in a new area — annual securities inventory requirements — as long as firms have alternative procedures in place to safeguard both firm and client securities.