In its recent submission to federal Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty’s Expert Panel on Securities Reform (www.expertpanel.ca), 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 of Advocacy for 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.
Investor’s Bill of Rights
CARP recommends the creation of an Investor’s Bill of Rights that provides investors with: 1. Fair dealing and transparency that supports informed decision-making and investor confidence; 2. Uniform securities regulation and independent enforcement; 3. A redress process that is timely, substantive and accessible; and 4. 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.
About the Expert Panel on Securities Regulation
On February 21, 2008, the federal Minister of Finance established the Expert Panel on Securities Regulation in Canada. The Expert Panel is charged with providing advice and recommendations to the Minister of Finance, and the provincial and territorial ministers responsible for securities regulation, on the best way forward to improve securities regulation in Canada. The Terms of Reference and membership of the Expert Panel can be found at www.expertpanel.ca
To read CARP’s submission to the Expert Panel in full, click Click here.
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