Securities market fee changes to support stronger enforcement and regulatory innovation

he British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) is increasing fees to bolster the commission's ability to carry out its mandate to protect investors and oversee an increasing complex securities marketplace.

The increase, approved by the B.C. government after a public consultation last spring, is the first since 1994. B.C. is home to over 1,400 public company head offices, more than any other province. The new rates take effect December 30, 2018.

The BCSC receives no government or taxpayer funding, relying entirely on fees paid by securities market participants, including companies that issue securities, registered investment firms and registered investment advisors.

The fee changes secure funding needed for effective market oversight and investor protection, including for:

  1. Expanding the BCSC's criminal investigations team

  2. Enhancing investor education

  3. Supporting fintech solutions and examining the regulation of crypto assets

  4. Modernizing rules for capital formation

  5. Hardening BCSC's cybersecurity defenses

"The B.C. securities market today is significantly more complex and larger than it was in 1994, with about $57 billion raised by B.C. companies and funds this past year," said Peter Brady, the BCSC's executive director. "As that market has evolved, so must the commission. For example, we are using advanced tools, such as predictive analytics, to strengthen compliance oversight and are deploying new technology to sharpen our ability to analyze market trading data."

The most significant fee changes are:

  1. The annual registration fee for a dealing, advising or associate advising representative will increase by $100.

  2. The prospectus fee beyond the base fee will increase by one-half basis point of the distributed securities' value.

  3. The base fee for filing an exempt distribution report will increase by $100.

In response to comments submitted during the public consultation, the BCSC simplified or reduced some of its originally proposed fee changes, including applications for exemptions or other orders; applications for recognition of an exchange, clearing agency or trade repository; and, initial filing and annual fees for alternative trading systems.

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