IIROC’s president and CEO Andrew Kriegler made it clear Friday that IIROC has no intention of backing off its push to get new and more effective enforcement powers, including court authority to collect fines.

The remarks came in a response to the preliminary policy recommendations of the Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives. The committee was formed to provide advice and recommendations to Ontario’s government as it works to develop a legal framework to regulate financial advisory and financial planning services.

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Kriegler says he agrees with the committee’s view that the requirements for being a financial planner should be the same across relevant regulatory bodies, which include IIROC, OSC and the MFDA. “However, harmonization may not necessarily mean recognition of a single credential or designation, to the exclusion of all others,” he says. “We believe there are opportunities to leverage off of existing proficiency programs and providers. We also support a continuing education requirement for individuals engaged in Financial Planning.”

One of the benefits of such harmonization, adds Kriegler, is it “provides a further opportunity for mutuality and reciprocity of sanctions.” He wants to see an end to regulatory arbitrage, where disciplined individuals “jump from platform to platform.”

Kriegler elaborates: “[I]f an individual is suspended or expelled by one [regulator] for sufficiently serious misconduct relating to his or her financial planning activities, the other [regulator] could recognize that sanction, and that individual would not be permitted to register as a financial planner with them. We would also further expect that the individual would not be able to be registered in any capacity with any of [these regulators].”

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Changing the Ontario Securities Act to grant IIROC the ability to use the courts to enforce its monetary sanctions is another critical step, suggests Kriegler. “The OSC and the Superintendent of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario […] have the power to file their orders for administrative penalties with the Superior Court. For the regulation of Financial Planning to be truly harmonized, with equal sanctions and consequences for all Financial Planners, IIROC should have the same power to enforce any monetary sanctions it levies against Financial Planners who are under our jurisdiction.”

Adds Kriegler: “This power, together with the mutual recognition of sanctions, would ensure that sanctioned individuals could not work in another registered capacity in the financial services industry, and could not avoid payment of a monetary sanction once they have left the industry.”

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