IIROC secures greater enforcement authority in Canada’s territories

Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon join seven provinces in strengthening investor protection

Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon have joined most of Canada’s provinces in giving the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) the ability to collect disciplinary fines through their courts, the self-regulatory organization announced Friday.

The three territorial governments have granted IIROC the authority to collect the monetary penalties that it imposes against individuals through the Supreme Courts in each territory. They have also enhanced the SRO’s ability to secure co-operation from third parties during disciplinary hearings.

“We are now in a better position to enforce our disciplinary actions, holding wrongdoers accountable and sending a strong message of deterrence to those who might consider taking advantage of investors. The message is clear: if you abuse your clients’ trust, you will face serious consequences,” says Elsa Renzella, senior vice president of enforcement and registration at IIROC, in a statement.

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With the addition of the territories, most regional governments in Canada have now given IIROC the power to try and collect unpaid disciplinary sanctions through the courts.

The SRO reports that last year it only collected 16% of the fines imposed against individuals, who have historically been able to simply leave the industry to avoid paying their fines. In jurisdictions where IIROC has been given the power to enforce penalties through the courts, its collection rates are “significantly higher” over time, it says.