CARP supports a National Securities Regulator but prefers a National Investor Protection Agency

Toronto July 15, 2008: CARP, Canada’s Association for the Fifty Plus representing 350,000 members across Canada, endorses the creation of a national securities regulator but urges greater focus on investor protection.

In its submission to the Expert Panel on Securities Reform, CARP entered the debate over a national securities regulator versus the current Passport system which retains provincial jurisdiction over securities regulation. In stating its support for uniformity across Canada, CARP expressed the concern that jurisdictional disputes may delay much needed reforms in securities regulation, especially those to enhance investor protection.

“CARP would endorse the search for uniformity to add to market efficiency and would support the establishment of a single national securities regulator if the jurisdictional disputes can be settled in a timely manner,” said Susan Eng, Vice President, Advocacy of CARP.

However, the larger concern for CARP is the need for better investor protection, citing the recent market turmoil around the ABCP and its impact on older investors and retirees, those least able to withstand such turmoil, and recommends the creation of an Investor’s Bill of Rights that provides investors with:

Fair dealing and transparency that supports informed decision-making and investor confidence; Uniform securities regulation and independent enforcement; A redress process that is timely, substantive and accessible; and Financial literacy

To ensure delivery on the Investors Bill of Rights, CARP recommends the creation of a National Investor Protection and Enforcement Agency, an oversight body, independent of industry with specialized expertise and comprising investor advocacy groups.

While not prescribing any particular structure, CARP recommends that the investor protection and enforcement function include oversight of the regulatory bodies, enforcement of regulations and provide specialized investigative support for individual retail investors in bringing forward their claims of wrongdoing by industry members.

“We certainly understand the larger concerns around jurisdiction, market stability and international credibility; However, securities reform should not overlook the primary purpose of securities regulation, that of providing a free, fair and transparent market place for investors.” added Eng.

CARP Canada’s Association for the Fifty Plus is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination; ensuring that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and providing value-added benefits, products and services to members; and building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

For a copy of CARP’s submission Click here

For further information, please contact: Michelle Taylor Communications Coordinator

Susan Eng Vice President Advocacy

For further information on the Expert Panel on Securities Regulation:
click here