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January 16, 2022

New investor protection a political master-stroke

By Deirdre McMurdy, Sympatico / MSN Finance

There's been an awful lot of clatter about the recently-released Expert Panel on Securities Regulation, the latest federal push to get a single securities regulator in place.

But for all the provincial posturing about lost power and the insensitivity of a central agency - some of which is quite legitimate - there remains one huge point that's been largely overlooked: the solid consumer protection measures.

If the panel's recommendations become reality, small investors will not only get better overall market enforcement powers behind them, they will get a much-improved dispute resolution system. It will be possible to settle disputes without going through a costly court process. There will also be a mandatory, binding dispute resolution process in which all financial institutions will have to participate. (That's a far cry from the well-intentioned but generally toothless banking ombudsman that RBC opted out of last year.)
That's the true genius of the Panel's report. Although it carefully considers the agendas and the sensitivities of each province, it contains a consumer component that's tough for any elected politician in any province - even those who oppose the single regulator - to blow off.
Well played.



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