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IIROC to consult on competency profiles for registered and investment representatives – Canada NewsWire

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Pan-Canadian regulator’s profiles will outline required knowledge, skills and behaviours

TORONTO, Aug. 18, 2020 /CNW/ – The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) today announced the launch of its public consultation on new competency profiles for registered representatives (RR) and investment representatives (IR), which clearly outline the requirements for IIROC-registered individuals to perform effectively in their roles.

To maintain a thoughtful, thorough and consultative approach, IIROC is developing profiles in phases, with the first phase already well underway and ready for public comment. This phase focuses on RRs and IRs – the two largest approval categories – and will include draft competency profiles for both retail and institutional settings, and a consideration of products RRs and IRs are permitted to trade. IIROC will continue its work and consult on the remaining nine approval categories in two subsequent phases over the next two years.

“By establishing clear, specific standards for IIROC registrants, we are providing value to investors and the financial system in the way we regulate, and in the way we protect and promote the health of Canada’s capital markets,” says Elsa Renzella, IIROC’s Senior Vice-President of Enforcement and Registration.

As an example, competencies for a highly competent RR would include knowledge, skills and behaviours relating to: client relationships; specific regulatory obligations such as Know Your Client and suitability requirements; and technical knowledge relating to investment products.

Developing profiles for all IIROC approval categories is listed among IIROC’s priorities in its three-year strategic plan. Competency profiles will establish proficiency benchmarks that will allow IIROC to evaluate course providers. In setting out specific descriptions and expectations, these profiles will also give investment firms improved oversight of their employees’ competency and compliance. In turn, employees will better understand the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to be effective in their IIROC-approved roles, allowing them to actively develop these competencies through continuing education programs. Additionally, firms will be able to contribute to the profiles’ ongoing upkeep and relevance by helping IIROC identify industry trends or developments.

As part of this process, IIROC is working with Metrix Group, an independent consultant specializing in learning solutions – including competency profile development. IIROC has also reviewed the approaches taken by regulatory authorities in comparable jurisdictions such as FINRA in the United States and the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. IIROC has consulted with various advisory committees including its Proficiency Advisory Committee and with a working group of the institutional sub-committee of Conduct, Compliance and Legal Advisory Section.

Publishing competency standards are fundamental to developing sound, high-quality IIROC licensing courses by providing important guidance on course content development. For this reason, before IIROC undertakes a competitive procurement process to select a single course provider, IIROC first needs to complete its competency profiles. As a result, IIROC has renewed its contract with the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI), the current course provider for IIROC course licensing requirements, until December 2025.

This renewed agreement with CSI will continue to ensure improvements in the quality of the service requirements and regulatory course content offered. IIROC and CSI also continue to work together to offer more flexibility in course offerings by expanding CSI’s computer-based testing and adding remote proctoring as an alternative to in-person examinations, in order to address public health concerns relating to COVID-19.

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About IIROC:

IIROC is the pan-Canadian self-regulatory organization that oversees all investment dealers and their trading activity in Canada’s debt and equity markets. IIROC sets high quality regulatory and investment industry standards, protects investors and strengthens market integrity while supporting healthy Canadian capital markets. IIROC carries out its regulatory responsibilities through setting and enforcing rules regarding the proficiency, business and financial conduct of 175 Canadian investment dealer firms and their nearly 30,000 registered employees, the majority of whom are commonly referred to as investment advisors. IIROC also sets and enforces market integrity rules regarding trading activity on Canadian debt and equity marketplaces.

SOURCE Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) – General News

For further information: Andrea Zviedris, Manager, Media & Public Affairs, 416-943-6906, [email protected]

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www.iiroc.ca

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Cryptocurrency is a worthy investment, but beware of scammers – Assiniboia Times

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Cryptocurrencies are capable of achieving world trade and business at the snap of a finger – digital trade is expedient in ways once deemed impossible in the days of analogue dollars.

Digital money is superior for climbing over the barriers separating physical, government-issued pounds, dollars, euros, dinars and shekels.  

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Bitcoin once had the reputation of being the preferred currency for the purveyors of the Dark Web, who were buying and selling prohibitive items without government interference. Now, cryptocurrency has acquired mainstream approval from investors and the business world in general in 2020.

The convenience and speed of cryptocurrency sets this form of currency apart from traditional, pre-digital cash.

Investors or purchasers can send Canadian dollars to Europe, have them converted into euros then have the funds deposited into the accounts of their choice instantly and anonymously at competitive exchange rates. Often, cryptocurrency investors pay only a couple of dollars or less in fees.

Bitcoin – the most familiar cryptocurrency – was invented in 2008 by an unknown person (or persons) with the anonymous name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin entered the world markets in 2009, when this digital-based currency was released as open-source software.    

Bitcoin used peer-to-peer technology. Central authorities never manage digital transactions using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Banks and governments don’t own or control Bitcoin, since this digital currency is designated as being open-source, otherwise known as software derived from the original source code, becoming available for redistribution – sometimes featuring modifications with fees attached.

Cryptocurrency is used for quick peer-to-peer transactions and worldwide payments on a growing footing. The practicality, anonymity and low processing fees attached to Bitcoin, Ethereum and thousands of other cryptocurrencies are making them hot items on international markets.

Investors are advised to have diverse portfolios if they invest in cryptocurrencies, in case the prices of their investments crash. Bitcoin is one of the most successful digital assets, reportedly with a market capitalization of close to $180 billion as of September 2019. This cryptocurrency effectively created several millionaires since being launched in 2009.

With financial success comes criminal ingenuity.

Cryptocurrency scammers arrived on the scene as digital-led economy grew, hoping to produce marks out of novice investors who didn’t realize the differences between their Tethers and Chainlinks.

Writing for COINTELEGRAPH, Joseph Young reported on a story from Sept. 27 about an unknown hacker behind the KuCoin breach, who was trying to unload stolen ERC-20 tokens on Uniswap – a decentralized exchange network opened in November 2018 and intended for cryptocurrency traders and investors.

However, blockchain technology has assisted investigators in tracing Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, meaning digital money can’t be laundered or stolen as easily as the online thieves and hustlers might think.

If proper enquiries into the origins of stolen or laundered digital funds are followed through, online crimes involving cryptocurrency can be rectified through studying the blockchain links. A blockchain represents a list of records linked to secure communications, such as cryptocurrency transactions. Blockchains contain timestamps and transaction data and are purposed to add security to digital funds.   

Aside from attempts at blatant theft and laundering, phone and online scams are used to trick people into making false cryptocurrency investments.

Tim Falk in the online magazine Finder offered advice on detecting crypto scams in an article written on May 26, 2020.

Non-legitimate cryptocurrency websites have addresses beginning with http instead of https – the data sent to these websites isn’t secure.

The word “Secure” or a padlock image should appear on the website’s address bar.

Search for spelling and grammar mistakes on the website, along with awkward phasing.

If the website promises unrealistic returns, consider this a scammer’s opportunity lying in wait.

Search for an “About Us” page to discover the story behind each website for investors who are seeking to extend their portfolios.

Search for reviews. Study other investment pages and see what the cryptocurrency community is saying about them prior to investing. Find who the registered owners of the domains or websites are. Avoid websites who lure others with celebrity endorsements. Finally, unsolicited messages sent through emails or social media regarding cryptocurrency investments should be binned and the senders should be reported and blocked.  

 

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Canada's pension fund plans to invest a third of funds in emerging markets by 2025. India is a major component – CNBC

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A man wearing a protective mask sits on a bench on April 10, 2020 in New Delhi as India remains under an unprecedented lockdown due to the highly contagious coronavirus disease.
Yawar Nazir | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Canada’s massive pension fund plans to invest up to a third of its funds in emerging markets over the next five years and India is an important destination, according to a senior executive. 

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) manages about 434.4 billion Canadian dollars ($329.75 billion) as of June 30. A bulk of its investments are in North America — around 34% of total assets are allocated in the United States — followed by Asia. 

“We expect to invest up to one third of the Fund in emerging markets by 2025 and India is a key component of that,” Suyi Kim,  CPPIB’s Asia Pacific head, told CNBC by email.

“Our investments in India span different asset classes including infrastructure, real estate, public and private equities, funds and co-investments and credit,” Kim said, adding, “We see domestic consumption, technology and increasing demand for infrastructure to support the growth underpinning many of the themes and opportunities we look at in India.”

CEO Mark Machin recently told CNBC that the pension fund was reviewing its bond holdings in light of near zero interest rates. 

CPPIB has an office in India. Some of its investments there include a stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank as well as $225 million to the India Resurgence Fund, which invests in distressed assets in the country. 

In December, CPPIB said it agreed to invest up to $600 million in India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund that included a $150 million commitment in NIIF’s Master Fund and co-investment rights of up to $450 million in future opportunities.  

India’s growth issues

The growth rate of South Asia’s largest economy took a hit over the last few years following important currency and tax reforms that were said to have disproportionately affected small businesses and people in the informal sector.

The coronavirus pandemic this year dashed early signs of recovery as India went into a nationwide lockdown between late-March and May as part of its efforts to slow the infection’s spread. Still, India is now the second most-affected country in the world behind the United States, with more than 5.9 million reported cases and over 94,000 deaths. 

Growth for the three months from April to June fell 23.9%

The financial sector — already in crisis for several years — faces an erosion of loan growth and higher credit costs as it prepares for a rise in bad debt from retail and corporate borrowers. Experts previously told CNBC that if the sector decides to stop lending to borrowers with low credit scores, or charge them a much higher interest on loans, it could delay India’s economic recovery.

“The ongoing credit issues in the financial services industry, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic’s impact on the economy, also present interesting investment opportunities to provide long-term, stable capital to select financial institutions and companies to finance India’s next growth cycle,” CPPIB’s Kim said. 

Last week, ratings agency S&P Global said India’s banking sector, which entered the pandemic with an overhang of nonperforming assets, will see a slow recovery to pre-Covid levels that could stretch beyond 2023. 

“We have taken negative rating actions on Indian banks and (non-banking financial institutions) as operating conditions have deteriorated through the crisis,” S&P Global said in a report, “Global Banking: Recovery Will Stretch To 2023 And Beyond.” 

“The Indian banking sector is considered a late-exiter. Its recovery will be longer, but some ratios may return more quickly to pre-COVID-19 levels as they were weak prior to the onset of COVID-19 (in contrast with many other jurisdictions),” the ratings agency said. 

CPPIB’s Kim said that beyond India, the Canadian pension fund sees investment opportunities in Greater China, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

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Unionized Ford workers vote on contract, 'game-changer' electric auto investment – Financial Post

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Unifor and Ford announced on Sept. 22 that they had reached a tentative agreement, avoiding a strike and creating a “pattern” the union will use in negotiations with the other two members of the Detroit Three car companies, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and General Motors Co.

Collective agreements between the companies and their unionized Canadian workers expired Sept. 21, with Unifor saying it would negotiate next with Fiat Chrysler. 

A summary of the tentative agreement with Ford of Canada, published by Unifor, shows workers would receive wage increases of 2.5 per cent in the first and third years of the contract. They would also receive a one-time “Productivity and Quality Bonus” of $7,250 if the deal is ratified, among other contract details released by the union. 

But the centrepiece of the deal is the $1.95 billion investment in Ford’s Oakville and Windsor, Ont. plants. Concerns about the former’s future beyond 2023 was a key reason why Unifor began its bargaining with Ford.

The Oakville facility is also set to receive the lion’s share of the $1.95 billion, as Unifor says the plant is to be retooled so it can build electric vehiclesafter Edge production is phased out. That $1.8-billion project is to begin in 2024, with the first battery-powered vehicle forecast to roll off the assembly line in 2026, “and hopefully sooner,” the union says.

“This is one of the most significant investment announcements in Canadian automotive history, and is a game-changer for the Canadian auto sector,” the Unifor summary says. “Through this conversion, Oakville will become the first mass production (battery electric vehicle) plant in Canada — and one of only a few currently in North America.”

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