What Is the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)?

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) is an organization which oversees investment dealers, brokers and trading activity in debt and equity markets in Canada — and protects investors.

Understanding the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) is a self-regulatory organization, and is the equivalent of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in the U.S. Established in 2008, its objective is to maintain fair and orderly markets and regulate all securities-related commerce within the country – including investment-related sales activity by brokers, agents and financial advisors.

The IIROC operates under Recognition Orders from the provincial and territorial securities commissions that make up the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). It has quasi-judicial powers to set and enforce laws in the Canadian securities and trading markets — and can levy fines, suspensions and other disciplinary action against delinquent firms, brokers and advisors.

IIROC regulated firms also participate in the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) which protects individual investors in the event that an investment firm should go bankrupt. As provided for in the Industry Agreement between CIPF and IIROC, IIROC recommends an Industry Director for nomination to the CIPF Board.

What the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada Does

  • Writes rules that set high regulatory and investment industry standards, and enforces them.
  • Screens all investment advisors employed by IIROC-regulated firms to ensure they are of good character, are properly trained and have successfully completed all the required educational courses, background checks and programs.
  • Conducts financial compliance reviews and sets minimum capital requirements to ensure that firms have sufficient capital.
  • Conducts trading conduct compliance reviews to check trading firms' trade-desk procedures. The reviews assess whether trade-desk procedures comply with the Universal Market Integrity Rules (UMIR) and applicable provincial securities laws.
  • Conducts market surveillance and trading review analysis to ensure that trading is carried out in accordance with UMIR and applicable provincial securities law.
  • Investigates possible dealer or marketplace misconduct by its dealer firms, approved persons and other market participants and can bring disciplinary proceedings which may result in penalties including fines, suspensions and permanent bans or terminations for individuals and firms.