IIROC launches new IIROC AdvisorReport

TORONTO, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has introduced a new resource to help investors learn the background of advisors who are currently approved to work at IIROC-regulated firms. In a single, easy-to-generate online report, investors can obtain relevant information that will help them make informed decisions when choosing an advisor.

With the new IIROC AdvisorReport, investors will be able to immediately access current information on an advisor's educational background including industry courses that are completed for proficiency requirements; find out what functions or roles the advisor has received IIROC approval to perform; and learn about the advisor's disciplinary history.

"Recent frauds and Ponzi schemes that have victimized investors underscore the need to give investors better tools to verify that their financial advisor is registered with and regulated by a securities industry regulator," said Susan Wolburgh Jenah, IIROC President and Chief Executive Officer.

"That's why we are taking steps to help investors readily access relevant information about an individual or firm. In addition to IIROC AdvisorReport, we have developed a new brochure Why IIROC Matters to You, the Investor, that describes the benefits of working with an IIROC- regulated firm and approved registrant and a new web site feature Know Your Advisor."

IIROC AdvisorReport is the central feature in the new Know Your Advisor section of the IIROC website. Know Your Advisor provides background detail on the information found in the IIROC AdvisorReport, including explanations of the IIROC approval categories, Frequently Asked Questions and search tips. Know Your Advisor also helps investors to find information about individuals or firms who are regulated by other Canadian regulatory organizations. There is a link, for example, to the Canadian Securities Administrators' National Registration List and Disciplined Persons List.

IIROC AdvisorReport builds on IIROC's earlier service, the Member Firm/Registrant Info Service, which was launched in 2003. This popular service recently averaged more than 1,700 visits per month online. It was a two-step service, with IIROC disciplinary records available through one search tool at href="http://www.iiroc.ca/English/Pages/home.aspx">www.iiroc.ca and information on current approval categories, educational background (including industry courses completed for required proficiency standards) and any terms and conditions placed on approval or registration, available only through written request to IIROC. This two-step process is being eliminated and IIROC AdvisorReport now consolidates this information in one, easy-to-use report.

IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization which oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada. Created in 2008 through the consolidation of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada and Market Regulation Services Inc., IIROC sets high quality regulatory and investment industry standards, protects investors and strengthens market integrity while maintaining efficient and competitive capital markets.

IIROC carries out its regulatory responsibilities through setting and enforcing rules regarding the proficiency, business and financial conduct of dealer firms and their registered employees and through setting and enforcing market integrity rules regarding trading activity on Canadian equity marketplaces.

Backgrounder: IIROC AdvisorReport

What is IIROC AdvisorReport?

IIROC AdvisorReport is an enhanced and redesigned report that allows investors to find background information on individuals currently approved to work at IIROC-regulated firms. This easy-to-use, plain language resource helps investors do their due diligence in choosing an advisor.

IIROC AdvisorReport builds on IIROC's earlier service, Member Firm/Registrant Info Service, which was established in 2003. That popular service recently averaged 1,700 visits per month online.

Now, with IIROC AdvisorReport, investors can go to the Investors section of the IIROC website and use the online search function to immediately generate a full, up-to-date and easy-to-print report.

Improvements over the old service

  • Easier to use. Previously, investors could use the IIROC website to search disciplinary records for advisors approved to work at IIROC-regulated firms. However, information about what their advisor was qualified to do and whether there were any terms or conditions on his or her registration status was only available by mailing a request form to IIROC or submitting it online. The two-step process is now being eliminated. IIROC AdvisorReport provides a user-friendly search function which provides all the information in one report.
  • Faster. With the old service, IIROC staff responded within 5 business days to requests for this additional information. The new IIROC AdvisorReport provides a full, up-to-date and easy-to-print report immediately.
  • More information in one place. Previously, investors could obtain information about an advisor from a number of different sources. IIROC AdvisorReport now consolidates information in one report.

What information does IIROC AdvisorReport contain about an advisor's educational background, qualifications and disciplinary record?

Advisors must meet educational standards to receive IIROC approval to work in specific positions at their firms. The AdvisorReport provides information about an individual's educational background including industry courses that have been completed to attain certain proficiency standards.

Using the IIROC AdvisorReport, investors can get information on a registrant's:

  • Current IIROC approval status;
  • Employment history with IIROC member firm(s);
  • Approval categories, which identifies functions or roles the advisor has received IIROC approval to perform;
  • Educational background, including relevant industry exams/courses;
  • Any past disciplinary record with IIROC; and
  • Information regarding disciplinary regulatory proceedings with securities regulatory authorities, other self-regulatory organizations or non-securities regulators that the registrant has reported to the National Registration Database ( NRD).

Current information

IIROC AdvisorReport information is current. This is because the information is drawn from the NRD at the end of each business day, and from IIROC's disciplinary records posted on the IIROC website. Each page of the report is date-stamped to eliminate any confusion about the timeliness of the information provided.

IIROC Disciplinary Information

IIROC AdvisorReport will provide all disciplinary records for advisors currently registered with IIROC-regulated firms. These include all public IIROC disciplinary proceedings, including:

  • Notices of Hearing;
  • Reasons and Decisions of Hearing Panels;
  • Settlement Agreements; and
  • News Releases.

What is not provided by IIROC AdvisorReport?

IIROC AdvisorReport provides information on current registrants only.

However, the public will continue to be able to obtain disciplinary records for past registrants - as well as for firms that are members or past members - by using the existing Consolidated Enforcement Actions IIROC website search tool.

Also, there are some limits to the historical information that the report can provide. In particular, the AdvisorReport database does not include:

  • Employment information for advisors prior to March 2003; and
  • IIROC disciplinary action prior to September 1997

This information is still available by contacting IIROC.

Know Your Advisor Web Feature

IIROC AdvisorReport is located in Know your Advisor, a new feature in the Investors section of the IIROC website.

Know Your Advisor is a comprehensive starting point to find information on registrants at IIROC-regulated firms. It offers additional resources to help investors use the IIROC AdvisorReport and to do due diligence on advisors generally, including:

IIROC's online Investors section also includes valuable information on:

The Making a Complaint section provides links to IIROC's "Making a Complaint" webcast and the IIROC brochure, "An Investor's Guide to Making a Complaint." Both of these resources tell investors how to make a complaint to an IIROC-regulated firm and to IIROC.

Investor information and complaints line

IIROC offers the public a 1 800 information line for complaints and inquiries. This recently updated bilingual service offers four options: 1) General information about IIROC; 2) Information about complaints regarding an IIROC-regulated investment dealer or its registered staff; 3) Complaints about marketplace matters, or inquiries about marketplace matters such as halts and resumptions; and 4) Information about the different compensation options available to clients of IIROC-regulated firms. Contact IIROC at 1.877.442.4322.

SOURCE Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) - General News

For further information: For further information:

Connie Craddock
Vice President, Public Affairs
416-943.5870
ccraddock@iiroc.ca


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