Toronto - The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published for comment a notice outlining proposed amendments that would prohibit investment fund managers from paying upfront sales commissions to dealers, and trailing commissions to dealers who do not make a suitability determination, such as order-execution-only dealers. These changes would result in the discontinuation of all forms of the deferred sales charge option (the DSC option), and more transparent fees on the discount brokerage channel.

"These proposed amendments, together with enhanced registrant conduct requirements proposed under our Client Focused Reforms, comprise the CSA's policy response to the investor protection and market efficiency concerns examined in our consultations on embedded commissions," said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers.

The proposed changes will eliminate a compensation conflict inherent in the DSC option that has given rise to investor protection concerns. The CSA expects that the prohibition of upfront sales commission payments by investment fund managers to dealers will eliminate the need for charging redemption fees to investors, effectively discontinuing the DSC option. Further to this change, dealers would be required to negotiate with, and charge directly to, clients any upfront sales commissions for mutual fund purchases. Similarly, the prohibition of trailing commission payments to dealers who do not make suitability determinations would require such dealers to charge investors directly for services.

The CSA is also proposing to eliminate certain disclosure requirements in the simplified prospectus form, in the Fund Facts document and under dealer disclosure rules since these would no longer be necessary when the DSC option is discontinued.

These proposed amendments follow the June 21, 2018 publication of the CSA’s policy decision on embedded commissions (pdf - 184 KB)This link will open in a new windowUpdated on 21 June 2018Embedded Commissions and its proposed Client Focused Reforms.  Under proposed enhanced conflict of interest rules in the Client Focused Reforms, all embedded commissions would be considered conflicts that must be addressed in the best interests of clients or avoided.

The proposed amendments are available on CSA members' websites. The 90-day comment period will close on December 13, 2018.

Details regarding in-person consultations will be announced separately by individual CSA jurisdictions.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories, coordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

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For more information:

CSA member name

Point of contact

Phone number

Autorité des marchés financiers

Sylvain Théberge


Alberta Securities Commission

Hilary McMeekin


British Columbia Securities Commission

Andrew Poon


Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan

Shannon McMillan


Financial and Consumer Services Commission, New Brunswick

Sara Wilson


Government of Prince Edward Island, Superintendent of Securities

Steve Dowling


Manitoba Securities Commission

Jason (Jay) Booth


Nova Scotia Securities Commission

David Harrison


Nunavut Securities Office

Jeff Mason


Office of the Superintendent of Securities, Newfoundland and Labrador

Craig Whalen


Superintendent of Securities, Department of Justice, Government of the Northwest Territories

Tom Hall


Office of the Yukon Superintendent of Securities

Rhonda Horte


Ontario Securities Commission

Kristen Rose