For Immediate Release
April 18, 2005

Canadian Securities Regulators Implement National Registration System

Toronto – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have launched the National Registration System (NRS), which makes important improvements to the registration regime of individuals and firms by harmonizing and streamlining the process across all jurisdictions.

The NRS allows an individual or firm to apply for registration in multiple jurisdictions and deal with only one regulator – the principal regulator. For their part, investors will continue to have the protection of their home regulator. The NRS will improve the registration process by applying principles of mutual reliance to reduce unnecessary duplication in the analysis and review of registration applications of investment dealers, mutual fund dealers, unrestricted advisers (investment counsel/portfolio managers) and their sponsored individuals.

Under the system, an applicant will be required to meet the “fit and proper” standards of only the principal regulator. Non-principal jurisdictions will generally rely on the principal regulator’s decision to grant registration and will normally grant registration within five days after the principal regulator. The new system will enhance efficiencies by requiring fewer application reviews, streamlining regulatory decision-making and providing applicants with a single point of contact with regulators.

“The National Registration System greatly simplifies the registration process for firms and individuals, and will permit a quicker process for those applicants who want to be registered in multiple jurisdictions,” said Jean St-Gelais, Chief Executive Officer of the Autorité des marchés financiers and Chair of the CSA.

The NRS may be used by members of the Investment Dealers Association (IDA), mutual fund dealers and unrestricted advisers (investment counsel/portfolio managers). The flexibility of the NRS will make it adaptable to current and evolving business models.

The NRS is part of the Registration Reform Project, an ongoing CSA initiative to harmonize registration processes. The Registration Reform Project has consulted extensively with industry stakeholders on its objectives, which include developing registration categories and common proficiency and conduct requirements. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to participate in additional consultations to discuss other important registration issues as the project seeks to achieve its various objectives. Three industry representatives sit on the project’s steering committee, along with representatives of the IDA, Mutual Fund Dealers Association, and securities regulators in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Another key issue for the Registration Reform Project as it moves forward is to work with self-regulatory organizations and other stakeholders on the implementation of the core principles of the earlier proposed Fair Dealing Model, which include: clarity of the investor-adviser relationship and transparency of compensation to advisers and their conflict management systems. These principles are consistent with those of the proposed British Columbia Code of Conduct.

The requirements and procedures under the NRS are set out in National Instrument 31-101 National Registration System, and National Policy 31-201 National Registration System. The Instrument and Policy are made available on the websites of CSA members, and were published in the OSC Bulletin on April 1, 2005. The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, coordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

For more information:

Eric Pelletier
Ontario Securities Commission
Andrew Poon
British Columbia Securities Commission
Joni Delaurier
Alberta Securities Commission
Philippe Roy
Autorité des marchés financiers