Strategic Goal #2 – Collaborate & Educate
We will collaborate with all stakeholders, share valuable information and engage in educational initiatives to enhance professionalism, improve investor outcomes and contribute to regulatory developments.
We will collaborate and educate by:
- Strengthening advisor proficiencies and professionalism
- Working with Members to promote a culture of compliance
- Engaging with stakeholders and other regulators to promote greater harmonization and consistent standards to protect investors
- Providing tools and resources to promote informed decision making by investors
Key initiatives include:
- Establishing a Continuing Education requirement for all MFDA advisors
- Identifying opportunities to share information and coordinate activities with other regulatory bodies
- Developing new approaches to gather information on current issues impacting seniors and producing guidance, tools and materials for Members and investors
The best regulatory outcomes require the meaningful engagement of all stakeholders. We will continue to collaborate with industry, other regulators and investors to ensure responsible and reasonable requirements that provide an appropriate level of investor protection.
We will also continue to provide education, guidance and assistance to Members and their Approved Persons to promote high standards of conduct and a culture of compliance.
A consistent and harmonized approach across financial service sectors is necessary given the fragmented regulatory environment, financial product and service convergence, multiple licensing of financial service providers and the focus on advice that goes beyond product sales. We will continue to work with other regulators to further the goal of ensuring that all retail investors are afforded a consistent level of protection regardless of the registrant with whom they are dealing. Outcomes and objectives of regulation should be consistent across all financial service sectors.
Ensuring open, two-way communication and dialogue with industry is a key component of effective and responsible regulation. We will continue to consult with Members and industry groups on industry trends and issues, new technology and operational methods, products and business models to ensure that our regulatory requirements and approach reflect the nature and reality of the changing financial services industry. We will also continue to work with Members to gather valuable industry data to allow us to better identify risks that pose potential harm to investors and to help us better understand the potential impact of regulatory initiatives. Member education is also a key component of our strategy to improve client outcomes.
The MFDA’s regulatory approach has always recognized that changing behavior and improving client outcomes requires clear and objective standards supplemented by practical and detailed guidance. As a first step, this approach requires us to clearly identify and understand what issues need to be addressed, desired outcomes to be achieved and specific behaviours that need to change. In addition, it is necessary to fully understand the potential cost/benefit of regulatory proposals including the impact on both industry and investors. Since our inception, we have applied this approach in areas such as suitability, KYC, product due diligence and conflicts of interest and we believe we have been successful in changing behavior to achieve compliant outcomes that benefit investors and industry. We will continue to apply this approach going forward as we work with other regulators on regulatory reform initiatives.
Going forward, we will continue to play a leading role in advancing initiatives aimed at improving the quality of advice provided to investors and professionalism among advisors. We will focus on providing Members and Approved Persons with practical training, guidance and education on key regulatory topics and issues they face in their day-to-day operations. We will also consider new methods to deliver training to advisors and encourage best practices to improve the client experience.
Providing meaningful tools and resources to investors promotes informed decision making. Over the past few years we have partnered with other regulators and industry associations to develop information to assist investors in navigating key regulatory changes impacting the investment process such as point of sale and enhancements to client reporting under the Client Relationship Model project. Going forward, we will continue to build on these partnerships as a means to share information on investor issues and effectively employ our collective resources to reach as many investors as possible.
The outcomes of strengthened collaboration and education will be:
- Enhance Conduct. Our processes continue to promote high standards of conduct demonstrated by Members and advisors.
- Operate Proactively. We will be proactive in identifying and addressing industry trends and regulatory issues.
- Respond to Change. Our regulatory requirements and approach reflect the nature and realities of the changing demographics and financial services industry.
- Investor Access. Improved access to meaningful information for the Canadian investing public.
Work with Members to promote a culture of compliance
We engage and consult with Members as part of the policy development process and in the development of new education and training initiatives. We will look for new opportunities to collaborate with Members as a means to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our regulatory processes.
Proactively engage with stakeholders and regulators in regulatory initiatives
We will also look for new opportunities to collaborate with other regulators to promote greater harmonization and regulatory efficiency. We will share our regulatory approach to policy making and our knowledge, insight and expertise to inform the discussion.
Strengthen advisor proficiencies and professionalism
We will explore new methods to deliver education and training to address areas relevant to the challenges and issues faced by advisors in the changing environment. We will continue our approach of supplementing clear regulatory standards with detailed guidance and practical training to enhance advisor professionalism and the quality of advice provided to investors.
Provide tools and resources to promote informed decision making by investors
We will develop tools and resources for investors through our own initiatives and in partnership with others. We will broaden our consultations and collaboration with investor groups to ensure that investors are being provided with materials and information that meet their needs and assist them in their decision making.