In 2021, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) released its 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, which declared the AMF’s four key guiding principles (called orientations in the plan) that will inform its decisions and actions for the four-year period.

On April 27, 2023, the AMF set out its key initiatives for the period from April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, for each of its four orientations, in its Annual Statement of Priorities (SoP).

Specifically, for 2023-2024, the AMF intends to target, among others, the following key initiatives for each respective orientation:

Orientation 1 – A proactive regulator that is relevant to consumers in an ever-changing environment:

Under Orientation 1, the AMF aims to focus on continuing to enhance services to assist financial consumers, promote and provide financial education to the public, and target its oversight,

supervision and enforcement capabilities on key areas of concern.

Specifically, the AMF aims to continue to consolidate the various public registers of individuals and firms authorized to practice through a registration with the AMF into a single register, adopt a regulation to streamline the complaint process for financial consumers, and to further its commitment to combating financial mistreatment of older and vulnerable clients by updating certain resources for market participants. Financial education efforts include holding a 10th Financial Education Day and continuing  its public awareness campaigns on fraud prevention and cryptoassets. As part of its oversight, supervision and enforcement capabilities, the AMF aims to continue its work in understanding and addressing the digital transformation of the financial industry by publishing a framework for the use of artificial intelligence in the industry with educational materials for consumers. It will also continue its work in the social media and “finfluencer” space, including optimizing its approach for detecting illegal product offerings on social media.

Orientation 2 An influential regulator supporting Quebec’s financial sector:

Under Orientation 2, the AMF takes aim at issues of compliance burden, upcoming regulatory changes, initiatives in the fintech space and assessing the digital transformation of industry participants, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

As part of its efforts to reduce compliance burden, of note to investment fund reporting issuers, the AMF in collaboration with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) aim to finalize the project to modernize the prospectus filing model, through the proposed amendments to National Instrument 41-101 General Prospectus Requirements, National Instrument 81-101 Mutual Fund Prospectus Disclosure and related instruments, which will allow investment funds in continuous distribution to file a prospectus every two years rather than on an annual basis. For non-investment fund issuers, the AMF and the CSA intend to finalize the draft amendments to National Instrument 51-102 Continuous Disclosure Obligations, which are aimed at changing the annual and interim filing requirements, specifically targeting and streamlining the disclosure requirements for the management discussion and analysis and the annual information form. Other upcoming regulatory initiatives include the changes to enhancing total cost reporting to investors of investment funds and segregated funds, and the AMF’s aim to continue to work with the CSA to determine whether amendments to National Instrument 81-105 Mutual Fund Sales Practices are required following the ban on deferred sales charges and the coming into effect of the Client Focused Reforms. In addition, the AMF also aims to consult with market participants and fintech companies to determine opportunities for innovation in the financial sector. With respect to ESG-related initiatives, the AMF intends to create a separate unit which will be dedicated to the ESG-space – a first for a Canadian securities regulatory body. Other initiatives include finalizing proposed National Instrument 51-107 Disclosure of Climate-related Matters, which will impose disclosure requirements on non-investment fund reporting issuers and beginning work to determine how to regulate ESG ratings providers.

Orientation 3 A high-performing regulator in the pursuit of its mission:

Under Orientation 3, the AMF takes aim at continuing to develop its strategy around the use of its data to enhance operational performance, enhance its risk governance framework and implement an improved risk management process, and modernize its information systems. Other initiatives include the AMF and CSA’s ongoing work involving SEDAR+, which in future phases will involve replacing the System for Electronic Disclosure for Insiders (SEDI) and the National Registration Database (NRD).

Orientation 4 A regulator committed to its human capital:

Under Orientation 4, the AMF intends to implement a diversity, equity and inclusion program, enhance its development programs aimed at its managers, and define and implement its employer brand, designed to attract and retain talent. It will also continue its work to implement a new hybrid work arrangement, responsive to its employees’ needs.

A full list of the items included in the SoP can be accessed on the AMF’s webpage.

May 31, 2023