On March 26, 2019, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) issued Guidance Note 19-0051 – E-Signature (the Guidance Note). The Guidance Note clarifies that in instances where IIROC’s member rules require investment firms or their representatives to obtain signatures from certain parties, including their clients, to evidence the execution of agreements, consents or acknowledgements of receipt of prescribed notification, IIROC members can accept e-signatures.
E-signatures that IIROC dealers may use include both “electronic signatures” (e.g. a signature on a scanned image, typed on an electronic document or digitally captured on a phone or a tablet) and “digital signatures”, which include a certificate of authority to identify both the party requesting a signature and the party providing one.
The Guidance Notes permits IIROC dealers to accept e-signatures provided that the following conditions are met:
They have appropriate policies and procedures in place;
They act in good faith in applying those policies and procedures in a consistent manner and do not delay account transfers; and
Their policies and procedures do not infringe applicable laws and legislation.
Another change introduced by the Guidance Note is to remove the previous requirement for dealer members to obtain a legal opinion as to compliance with legislative requirements for digital signature technology.
DISCLAIMER: This post is intended to convey general information about legal issues and developments as of the date above. It does not constitute legal advice and must not be treated or relied on as such.