The Investor Advisory Panel Seeks Your Input

The Investor Advisory Panel (“IAP” or “Panel”) is seeking written comments from the public regarding issues that may be important to investors.

The IAP is an independent body appointed by the Ontario Securities Commission. Our mandate is to represent the views of investors and provide input on policy initiatives put forth by the Commission. Public feedback is important to the fulfillment of this mandate and deepens our understanding of investor concerns.

We would like to hear about issues that matter to you and which should be brought to the attention of the regulators. Examples of issues we would like to hear about include:

  • Statement of Priorities: What are your views on the OSC’s recently issued draft Statement of Priorities?

  • Investment dealers/advisers: Should they have an explicit fiduciary obligation to their clients which includes a duty to act in their clients’ best interests? Should higher education, certification, and training requirements be imposed?

  • Disclosure: Should investors receive annual reports detailing the performance and the total costs of their investments? Should that performance be compared to benchmarks, and what should those benchmarks be? What are your thoughts about the new Point of Sale documents for mutual funds? Should the Point of Sale requirements be extended to other investments and financial products?

  • Investor protection: Is the emphasis by regulators on “full and fair disclosure” enough to protect investors? If not, what other specific methods of protection do you suggest?

  • Restitution: Some say that most investors do not care about enforcement and punishment of wrongdoers– they just want their money back. Should the OSC play a more robust role in securing financial redress for consumers? Should an ability for the Commission to award restitution be implemented into the Securities Act?

  • Enforcement: How can this be improved? For example, should the OSC move forward with the proposal for no-contest settlements? Should the OSC establish rules and funds to encourage and reward whistleblowers?

  • Corporate Governance: How can current standards, policies, and practices be improved in areas such as election of directors, the proxy voting process and structure of the board? Should the regulator try to increase the democratic functioning of corporations and deepen the involvement of investors in corporate governance?

  • OSC’s Strategic Plan: What do you think of the Commission’s vision and how can it be best aligned with investor interests?

  • Ombuds Services: Should Canada have a single independent ombuds service for consumer financial complaints? Should this service be mandatory for banks (as it now is for investment firms) or should they be allowed to choose their own dispute resolution provider? Does the ombuds service need the power to compel financial services firms to follow its decisions? Should the ombuds service also cover insurance investment products and non-regulated financial products such as exempt market and structured products?

  • Retail Investor Representation: What can either the OSC or the IAP do to improve investor representation and make their respective activities in this area more effective? What methods can best capture the elusive voice of retail investors?

General comments are welcome. Specific comments on OSC policy initiatives, or other matters would be especially helpful to our work.  

This feedback will assist us in our representation of investors’ views going forward, and in particular will assist us in formulating our responses to policy initiatives and the OSC’s annual Statement of Priorities. We thank you in advance for your valuable comments. 

Comments and Submissions 

You may provide your comments by email by selecting the “Submit Comment” box below. You may also provide written comments in hard copy or electronic form. It would be helpful to receive your comments by May 4, 2012 but this is not a firm deadline. We welcome your feedback about investor-related issues at any time. 

If you prefer to send your comments in hard copy or electronic form instead of the box above, you may send them to the address below. All comments will be forwarded to the Investor Advisory Panel and may be posted on the Panel’s webpage. 

Allan Krystie
Senior Administrator, Investor Advisory Panel
Ontario Securities Commission
20 Queen Street West, Suite 1900, Box 55
Toronto, ON M5H 3S8