Harmonized Sanction Guidelines and Enforcement Staff Policy Statements

Enforcement Bulletin



CIRO is publishing harmonized Sanction Guidelines.  These Sanction Guidelines supersede and replace all previous versions of both the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”) Sanction Guidelines and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”) Sanction Guidelines and will be effective February 1, 2024.

The Sanction Guidelines set out the general principles and key factors for determining an appropriate sanction in one document that will apply to all CIRO enforcement matters. 

The Sanction Guidelines promote consistency, fairness and transparency and the general approach that should be taken in approaching decisions on sanction. The principles and key factors are not exhaustive, and hearing panels may consider other applicable principles, determine the relevant aggravating and mitigating factors, and rely on previous decisions when determining what sanctions should be imposed.

The Sanction Guidelines are based upon general principles of administrative and securities law and are consistent with the content and approach taken in the prior versions issued by IIROC and the MFDA.

Prior Sanction Guidelines and Disciplinary Decisions

The IIROC Sanction Guidelines and the MFDA Sanction Guidelines have been relied upon by Enforcement Staff and respondents to disciplinary proceedings, as well as IIROC and MFDA hearing panels, to assist in determining the appropriate sanctions in a given case, although it should be noted that they are not binding on the parties and are not intended to fetter the discretion of the hearing panel. 

A significant body of IIROC and MFDA disciplinary decisions has developed which sets out general sanctioning principles and relevant factors for consideration. These decisions are also relied on by Staff, respondents, and hearing panels in determining the appropriate sanctions in a given case. The decisions are readily available and accessible to members of the public. These decisions will continue to inform CIRO enforcement matters.

Enforcement Staff Policy Statements

In addition to the Sanction Guidelines, CIRO is publishing Enforcement Staff Policy Statements that provide stakeholders with guidance regarding Staff’s approach to the following issues:

  • Credit for Cooperation
  • Early Resolution Offers
  • Suspensions and Permanent Bars
  • Internal Discipline by a Dealer Member

These issues commonly arise in the negotiation of settlement agreements or during the sanctions phase of disciplinary proceedings. The Enforcement Staff Policy Statements are consistent with the statements previously issued by IIROC and consistent with the general approach taken by the MFDA. As of the date of this notice, the Enforcement Staff Policy Statements will be applied by Enforcement Staff in matters involving Investment Dealers and Mutual Fund Dealers and their Approved Persons. 

About CIRO

The Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) is the national self-regulatory organization that oversees all investment dealers, mutual fund dealers and trading activity on Canada’s debt and equity marketplaces. CIRO is committed to the protection of investors, providing efficient and consistent regulation, and building Canadians’ trust in financial regulation and the people managing their investments. For more information, visit www.ciro.ca.


Enforcement Bulletin


Other Notices associated with this Enforcement Proceeding: