Brokerages that have yet to address compensation-related conflicts for funds that pay trailer fees have received a reprieve—for now.
IIROC has suspended its expectations for order-execution-only firms to address such conflicts, as the industry awaits final proposals from CSA on embedded commissions requirements for all registrants, expected next month.
Specifically, IIROC has suspended Section 2 from its notice that accompanies guidance for order-execution-only (OEO) services and activities, published earlier this year.
The section says IIROC expects OEO firms to make available, whenever possible, series of funds that don’t pay trailing commissions for ongoing advice.
When no such series is available and an OEO firm offers a series with a trailing commission, IIROC says in the section that it expects the firm to address the conflict—by rebating to the client the portion of the trailing commission or by “taking other similar steps.”
For now, those expectations are on hold. (Many OEO firms have already addressed the conflict, says IIROC in the suspended section.)
In June, CSA announced new rules were coming on embedded commissions, including a prohibition on the payment of trailing commissions to dealers, such as discount brokers, who don’t make a suitability determination. The proposed changes are expected in September.
In a new notice, IIROC says CSA’s rule development process on embedded commissions provides “further opportunity for meaningful input from all registrants and other industry stakeholders on this important issue, and, once it is completed, we will align our requirements with theirs.”
In the meantime, OEO firms remain subject to IIROC’s rules concerning conflicts of interest, including the requirement to address conflicts considering the best interest of the client, says IIROC in its latest notice.
The SRO also clarifies that guidance on OEO services and activities, effective on April 9, 2018, remains in effect.