ASC Crowdfunding

August 25, 2016

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ASC Crowdfunding

Letter Summary:

The proposed requirements for registered portals and the caps on investment are important safeguards, but additional restrictions could be considered specifically to address concerns relating to investors with low financial literacy and/or minimal investment experience. Timely and effective enforcement will also be key to mitigating the risk of abuse and fraud. Staff of the ASC should
monitor, in particular, that the requisite financial reports are provided in a timely fashion and completed as required.

Overview of the Council’s Comments:

We support the CSA initiative that is underway with respect to potentially imposing a statutory best interest duty on registrants, and strongly support imposing such a duty on registered dealers providing advice to clients, including exempt market dealers providing advice on privately placed securities. Retail investors rely primarily on their advisers to let them know if an investment is appropriate for their level of risk tolerance. Even though it is proposed that investors sign a risk acknowledgement form, investors assume that their advisers are looking out for their best interests. If such a standard were formally implemented, it would help to ensure that an investment in privately placed securities under the exemption is in fact in a client’s best interests, which would materially enhance investor protection.