OSC’s Investor Advisory Panel releases 2023 Annual Report

For Immediate Release OSC IAP

TORONTO – The Investor Advisory Panel (the IAP) today released its 2023 Annual Report summarizing its activities, submissions, consultations, and meetings. 

In 2023, the IAP focused on the importance of securities regulation continuing to prioritize investor protection in a way that effectively keeps pace with a rapidly shifting environment for retail investors.

The IAP looked at risks and opportunities for retail investors from the increasing digitalization of financial services, such as reliance on social media influencers for investing advice, the use of digital engagement practices by trading platforms, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by fraudsters including deepfakes. The IAP also considered the rapid expansion of alternative assets available to retail investors, such as crypto assets and privately placed alternative assets.

“The IAP reflects with great pride on our work in 2023 and looks forward in the year ahead to continuing to encourage the OSC to prioritize investor protection as the cornerstone of its multi-pronged mandate,” said IAP Chair Ilana Singer. “We remain committed to bringing forward issues and perspectives that will advance investor protection in Ontario, improve investor outcomes and enhance the investor experience.”  

The IAP’s advice has focused on approaches to protect investors that are responsive to the increasing digitalization of financial services and that are informed by similar trends in other sectors and jurisdictions (domestically and internationally) and regulators’ responses to them. In particular, the IAP reiterated its strong support for what it considers to be key opportunities to enhance investor protection, including:

  • evaluating the types of advice that could benefit do-it-yourself investors given the steady increase in the number of investors who trade on Order-Execution-Only platforms;
  • conducting a compliance review of finfluencers to determine whether measures are needed to regulate their conduct;
  • assessing the effect of the Client Focused Reforms on investors and measuring whether they are attaining their desired outcomes;
  • continuing to strengthen oversight of crypto trading platforms and focusing future efforts on addressing investors’ ease of access to alternative assets which are speculative and high-risk and strengthening oversight of those who provide such access;
  • bolstering consumer awareness of fraud risks and continuing to collaborate with peer regulators and agencies to address the evolving fraud landscape and impact on vulnerable investors; and
  • ensuring that any uses of the Designated Fund be seen to directly benefit investors and be assessed through an investor protection lens.

The IAP has also long regarded consumer dispute resolution as a critically important issue. The IAP commends securities regulators for their leadership in developing a binding authority proposal for the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) through a framework that is accessible, fair and efficient.

About the IAP
Comprised of up to nine members, the IAP is an advisory committee to the Ontario Securities Commission that solicits and represents the views of retail investors on the Commission’s policy and rule-making initiatives. Members of the IAP are appointed for terms of up to two years, with possible reappointment for one additional term. See the 2023 Annual Report for biographies of IAP members. 

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