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Ongoing regulatory reform efforts, industry innovation and investment industry greenwashing will be among the top priorities for Ontario’s Investor Advisory Panel (IAP) in the year ahead.

In its latest annual report, the independent investor advocacy group with the Ontario Securities Commission reviewed its work for the past year and signalled its current priorities.

At the top of its agenda for the coming year is regulatory reform — in particular, action on the recommendations from Ontario’s Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce, and the Canadian Securities Administrators’ ongoing overhaul of the self-regulatory framework.

It’s also focused on the impacts of innovation for investors, including the emerging crypto space and the risk of greenwashing by investment products.

“We are optimistic about the potential for disruption to markedly improve the experience of financial consumers and investors more specifically,” the IAP said in its report. “However, in order for that to happen, securities regulators must ensure they operate on a strong foundation that is proactive, agile and focused on investor protection above all else.”

The report said the IAP “will press for effective initiatives to improve outcomes for retail investors, particularly through advancement of investor understanding about risks and costs, through greater regulatory oversight of systemic hazards posed by digitization of investment products and automation of financial services, and through the removal of barriers to securing satisfactory restitution for harmed investors.”