IFIC Response to CCIR Consultation Endorses Greater Harmonization
Toronto – July 19, 2016 – The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) today submitted comments in response to the Segregated Funds Working Group Issues Paper published on May 16, 2016 by the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR). The paper examines the relative regulatory frameworks for Individual Variable Insurance Contracts (IVICs), commonly known as segregated funds, and mutual funds.
In its submission, IFIC commends the CCIR for taking the initiative to conduct the review, noting the benefits to consumers of greater harmonization. “In many cases, consumers are buying their insurance and investment products and services from the same individual or firm. They should be able to expect consistency in important areas such as cost disclosure, training, continuing education and account oversight,” said Paul C. Bourque, president and CEO, IFIC.
IFIC identified several additional consumer issues for consideration by the Working Group, including the need for better information sharing about disciplinary actions against dually licenced advisors. “The absence of formal information sharing arrangements and sanctions protocols prevents the industry from taking urgent and concrete steps to protect investors from rogue agents,” Bourque said.
The submission asks financial regulators to commit to greater collaboration when addressing similar financial products. “We encourage the CCIR and the Canadian Securities Administrators to establish a practice of regular information exchanges about new initiatives, with a shared objective of regulatory harmonization,” said Bourque. “This would ensure consistent rule-making across comparable products from the outset and avoid the creation of future regulatory gaps and inconsistencies.”
The Investment Funds Institute of Canada is the voice of Canada’s investment funds industry. IFIC brings together 150 organizations, including fund managers, distributors and industry service organizations, to foster a strong, stable investment sector where investors can realize their financial goals. By connecting Canada’s savers to Canada’s economy, our industry contributes significantly to Canadian economic growth and job creation. The organization is proud to have served Canada’s mutual funds industry and its investors for more than 50 years.
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