IIROC describes expectations regarding sale of PPNs

December 19, 2012

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada yesterday released a guidance note setting out its expectations regarding application of know your client and suitability obligations to dealings in principal protected notes (PPNs) by IIROC dealer members. The guidance follows publication of a CSA staff notice (excluding Quebec) this past August that described the CSA's expectations that deposit-taking institutions will use registered dealers and individuals to distribute all PPNs that are not “Specified PPNs,” being those with a term of five years or less.

IIROC Dealer Member Rule 18.14 allows registered representatives and investment representatives to engage in another gainful occupation provided certain conditions are met, effectively permitting dual employment with the investment dealer and an affiliated financial institution. According to IIROC, the sale of PPNs by such a dually employed individual could create client confusion as to which entity the client is dealing with (the financial institution or the IIROC dealer) and would result in the application of know your client and suitability protections dependent on the distribution channel.

Consequently, IIROC states that all sales of PPNs by an IIROC registered individual must be transacted solely in their capacity as an employee or agent of the dealer member. IIROC also expects that all dealers will have policies and procedures to give this expectation effect and to ensure adequate supervision and compliance oversight. For more information, see IIROC Notice 12-0384.

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