TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The Investor Advisory Panel has submitted its Annual Report 2012-13 to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The Report summarizes the Panel's current activities and priorities as well as its recommendations to the Commission on proposals of importance for investor protection. During the past year, the Panel provided its input to the Commission on a number of proposals whose approval and implementation would dramatically improve the current investor protection regime for Canadian investors. These include Canadian Securities Administrators' (CSA) discussion papers exploring the appropriateness of introducing a statutory best interest standard and a review of current mutual fund fee structures, as well as a proposal requiring the provision of an ombudservice for clients of CSA registrants. The Panel conducted investor outreach to more than 2,000 Ontarians to explore their relationships with their financial advisors and how they perceive and use investment products. (Strengthening Investor Protection in Ontario-Speaking with Ontarians) This research informs and supports our positions regarding the need for Canadian regulators to introduce a best interest duty standard, proficiency and title reforms and to eliminate current conflicted mutual fund compensation structures which undermine Canadian investors' ability to ensure their retirement security. The Panel evaluates Commission policies and proposals from an investor protection perspective which seeks to ensure that advisors are the true agent of the client and put their clients' interests first; regulators do not permit conflicted remuneration practices which can bias advisors' advice and product recommendations and thereby harm investors' financial outcomes; advisors are required to have appropriate skills and qualifications and to use only informative and accurate business and professional titles; and investors have access to fair, timely and independent complaint handling, enforcement and compensation. "While we are fully committed to thoughtful, careful analysis and a measured regulatory response, we believe that the slow pace of reform in Canada is unacceptable", said IAP Chair Connie Craddock. "It's time for Canadian regulators to move beyond discussion and study and raise the bar on investor protection". The Investor Advisory Panel is an independent advisory panel to the Ontario Securities Commission. Its mandate is to solicit and represent the views of investors on the Commission's policy and rule making initiatives. The panel is comprised of 9 members appointed by the Chair of the Commission following a public application process and on the advice of a selection committee of up to three Commissioners. The Panel provides regular reporting through our Investor Advisory Panel website ( www.osc.gov.on.ca) , published reports, submissions and letters to the Commission and its Annual Report.