IIROC which stands for the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada is an independent supervisory authority in charge of overseeing all the trading activities of investment dealers, stock exchanges, insurance companies, Forex brokers, financial advisors, and the like within its jurisdiction. IIROC also makes sure that said entities adhere to its Universal Market Integrity Rules (UMIR). IIROC is the only regulator in all of Canada that has the authority to supervise the equity marketplaces, including the NEO Exchange Inc., Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), Instinet Canada Cross Limited (ICX), and Nasdaq CXC Limited (Nasdaq Canada). In 2008, the unification of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (1916) and Market Regulation Services Inc. (2002) has led to the creation of IIROC with the sole purpose of safeguarding the Canadian market and its participants by creating a welcoming atmosphere for everyone to do business. The organization fulfills its regulatory duties to keep the market integrity intact and people’s investments secure.
IIROC gets funded in exchange for its regulatory services. That is to say, the regulated entities that operate within its jurisdiction are to pay an annual fee based on their capital, the number of investment advisors, trading activity, and revenues. IIROC makes sure that not only its regulatory measures are transparent, fair, and legal, but also the same values are heeded by the regulated members. To that end, IIROC sees to it that no laws or regulations are broken and the law-breakers are purposed and prosecuted by imposing sanctions (e.g., fines up to $5 million), suspension, or cancellation of their licenses given the severity of their crime. IIROC, through the Investor Recourse and Compensation ombudsman, helps those who sustain a financial loss to file a complaint in addition to having access to options, such as Free Legal Advice, Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI), and Arbitration. Furthermore, IIROC knows the importance of informing the public, which is why it provides the IIROC Advisor Report so the investors can approach the markets with open eyes. The advisory committees of IIROC are the National Advisory Committee, the Conduct, Compliance, and Legal Advisory Section (CCLS), the Proficiency Committee, the Financial and Operations Advisory Section (FOAS), the Fixed Income Advisory Committee, and the Market Rules Advisory Committee (MRAC).
The regulatory duties of IIROC include laying down the required laws and regulations regarding the financial conduct of registered companies, screening the participants of the markets, supervising the debt and equity markets’ activities, and identifying latent irregularities and misconduct of said participants to take preventative measures before things get out of hand and reflect badly on this financial center. The level of public trust determines whether a regulator is fulfilling its duties, IIROC understands this perfectly and focuses on promoting confidence in the system, working on the efficiency of its regulatory duties, leading by example, implementing the most modern tools and technologies, as well as attracting dutiful employees.