Canada’s securities regulators plan to merge two industry groups that oversee financial advisers into a single organization, a move intended to address years of complaints about the overlapping roles and higher costs of the groups.

Provincial regulators published Tuesday a framework for how to combine the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, which regulates investment advisory firms that sell a broad range of securities, with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada, which oversees firms that sell funds.

They also plan to merge two existing investor protection funds into a new one that’s independent of the expanded regulatory body.

Among other things, IIROC and MFDA levy fines and other penalties on individual financial advisers who break the rules.

IIROC oversees about 175 firms, including full-service investment dealers including BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and RBC Dominion Securities Inc., while the MFDA supervises about 90 mutual fund dealers, such as CIBC Securities Inc. and National Bank Investments Inc. Some financial firms are forced to be members of both agencies because their employees hold different licenses for selling investment products.

Combining the staffs of the two bodies “will be critical during the creation of the new self-regulatory organization and investor protection fund, and will be crucial to their future success,” Louis Morisset, the chair and president of Canadian Securities Administrators, said in a statement. The CSA is an umbrella group of Canada’s provincial securities watchdogs.

In late 2019, the CSA began studying the existing framework. It created a working committee to determine the structure of the new organization and oversee the integration of the two groups. The review prompted both the MFDA and IIROC to publish their own proposals.

The combination is aimed at saving costs for investment dealers while aligning and streamlining their processes, the CSA said. A majority of the new organization’s board members and its chairperson will be independent, and the group will be required to solicit CSA comment on its priorities, business plan and budget, according to a statement.

The CSA will also consider the possibility of incorporating additional registration categories into the newly minted entity.