Enhancing the professionalism of financial advisors in the best interests of the consumer

Regulatory Bulletins

Advocis issues special bulletins on key developments and breaking news affecting the financial advisory profession.

Archived bulletins

2013 - 2016 Regulatory Bulletins

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The final report of the Ontario expert panel reviewing insurance regulation calls for FSCO's elimination
– September 2016


Bulletin #078-09/16– September 2016

Expert Committee on Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives Releases Preliminary Report
– April 2016


Bulletin #077-04/16– April 2016

A Major Study Notes that Banning Embedded Fees on Financial Products Could Harm the Retirement Futures of Many Canadians
– April 2016


Bulletin #076-04/16– April 2016

Amendments to Ontario's Insurance Act Coming in July
– Jan 2016

On July 1, 2016, amendments to Parts V and VII of Ontario's Insurance Act will come into force.

Bulletin #075-01/16– Jan 2016

Newfoundland and Labrador's Financial Services Regulator Introduces Advisor Incorporation
– Oct 2015

Advisors dealing in mutual funds are now able to flow their commissions through to their own corporations.

Bulletin #074-10/15– Oct 2015

CSA releases second major study on embedded mutual fund fees
– Oct 2015

The Canadian Securities Administrators ("CSA") released the second of two major studies it commissioned to look at the issue of mutual fund fees.

Bulletin #073-10/15– Oct 2015

Advocis renews its call for an advisory profession
– Sept 2015

Reforming how advisors are regulated means recognizing the nature of professional quality advice.

Bulletin #072-09/15– Sept 2015

CSA publishes long-awaited research report on mutual fund fees
– June 2015

the Brondesbury Report is not so much a report as an academic literature review – but one that gives Canada little attention.

Bulletin #071-06/15– June 2015

Saskatchewan Legislature Passes New Insurance Act
– June 2015

Saskatchewan's new Insurance Act received Royal Assent on May 14, 2015.

Bulletin #070-06/15– June 2015

FSCO's new review for insurance advisors
– June 2015

FSCO announced they will be introducing on–site reviews of insurance advisors to determine if they are compliant with the Insurance Act, best practices and industry regulations.

Bulletin #069-06/15 - June 2015

Alberta pushing ahead on advisor incorporation
– January 2015

Once in effect, the changes to Alberta's Securities Act will let advisors offer their securities-based dealing and advisory services to their clients through a professional corporation, while still under the supervision of their registered firm.

Bulletin #068-01/15 - January 2015

FSCO issues warning on life/viatical settlements and STOLI
– September 2014

On September 12, 2014, The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) issued a warning to consumers and life insurance agents that the selling or transferring of life insurance policies – commonly referred to as viatical settlements, life settlements or stranger-owned life insurance (STOLI) – is a practice that, depending on the circumstances, may not be legal in Ontario.

Bulletin #067-09/14 - September 2014

July 15, 2014: New Requirements of the Client Relationship Model,
Stage Two, Take Effect
- July 2014

July 15, 2014 will see the first batch of significant changes under Stage Two of the Client Relationship Model, generally known as "CRM-2," which the Canadian Securities Administrators began to roll out on July 2013. The most prominent of these changes are:

  1. pre-trade disclosure of charges
  2. enhanced trade confirmation disclosure for debt securities
  3. expanded relationship disclosure

Bulletin #066-07/14 - July 2014

Now in effect: FINTRAC's new anti-money laundering and
anti-terrorist financing requirements
- June 2014

On February 1, 2014, new regulations to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act took effect. FINTRAC (the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) has published revised guidelines to clarify the responsibilities of life insurance agents and companies, and for securities advisors and dealers.

Bulletin #065-06/14 - June 2014

Canada's Anti-Spam Law Coming Into Force - February 2014

On July 1, 2014, Canada's Anti-Spam Law will come into force. The law, which is considered to be one of the world's most stringent and complicated anti-spam laws, will have major implications on how advisors conduct their business.

At its core, the new law prohibits someone from sending a commercial message to an electronic address unless

  1. a statutory exemption applies, or
  2. the sender has the recipient's implied or express consent.

Bulletin #062-02/14 - February 2014

Ontario Introduces Bill to Professionalize Financial Advice
- February 2014

Today, Rick Bartolucci, MPP for Sudbury, and Vice-Chair, Standing Committee on Government Agencies, tabled the Financial Advisors Act, 2014 in the Ontario legislature. This landmark bill is a critical step towards the professionalization of our industry, and a development that Advocis has long advocated for. In fact, Advocis has been working closely with the Ontario government for the past several months to ensure this legislation mirrors the framework laid out in Raising the Professional Bar, Advocis's proposal for self-regulation.

At a national level, Advocis has been encouraging governments across Canada to introduce legislation to accredit professional associations for financial advisors. The bill tabled by MPP Bartolucci is a very positive step in that direction.

Bulletin #060-02/14 - February 2014

The CSA Releases Related Status Reports on Mutual Fund Fees
and Best Interest Duty
- December 2013

The banning of third party commissions on mutual fund sales and the possible imposition of any form of a statute-based, best-interest-style fiduciary duty are inextricably connected – both conceptually for those who must interpret and advise on regulatory texts and practically for those who must abide by such regulation. Therefore, it is welcome relief for Advocis that the CSA now appears to be adopting our pragmatic approach to these overlapping issues.

While neither status report provides us with new material information about the CSA's intentions, they are useful encapsulations of how the CSA views the issues at present, and by linking the issues as they have through the co-ordinated release, we now know that the CSA is beginning to frame the debate in the manner which Advocis has long pressed for. This can only help place the Association in a much stronger position going forward, one from which we can further delineate and refine our arguments.

Advocis will continue to press home its message that banning third party commissions and imposing a statutory best interest duty will harm consumers and advisors alike, creating an "advice gap" which could leave hundreds of thousands of Canadians without access to affordable and professional financial advice.

Bulletin #061-12/13 - December 2013 [PDF - 675KB]

Supreme Court of Canada ruling reflects Advocis' call to reduce
regulatory exposure for securities-licensed advisors
- December 2013

On December 5, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its ruling in McLean v. British Columbia Securities Commission. In March, Advocis used its intervener status in the case to present arguments on behalf of its members. By once again granting Advocis intervener status, the Supreme Court re-acknowledged the valuable perspective we bring to legal and regulatory matters involving financial advisors.

McLean should function to dramatically reduce the timeline of potential prosecution faced by advisors. Advocis believes the Supreme Court has offered guidance which reasonably balances the need to protect advisors from interminable litigation with the need to provide adequate protection to consumers from "rogue" advisors across multiple jurisdictions.

Bulletin #059-12/13 - December 2013

Banning Embedded Compensation and Imposing a Statute-Based Fiduciary Duty - April 2013

Our industry is on the edge of radical transformation. Across Canada, financial advisors now face the greatest set of regulatory threats to their profession in living memory. This is not mere rhetoric. It is fact.

We could see a dramatic alteration in how advisors are paid. The time-honoured and trust-based relationship advisors have with their clients could be turned into a regulatory tight-rope. And many Canadians could be left without advice—including those who need it the most.

Bulletin #052-04/13 - April 2013 [PDF - 287KB]

Advocis Appears Before the Supreme Court - March 27, 2013

Bulletin #051-03/13 - March 27, 2013 [PDF - 197KB]

Regulatory Alert For Advisors in British Columbia – February 4, 2013

Clarification of limitation period under B.C.'s Insurance Act.

Bulletin #049-02/13 - February 4, 2013 [PDF - 201KB]