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Quebec’s financial regulatory body, the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), said on Wednesday the combined amount of fines, penalties, and sanctions it imposed in 2015 exceeded $8.7 million. In addition, a six-month imprisonment of a single person was ordered in 2015, as well as a prison term of five years and three months for two individuals in connection with criminal cases.
The regulator did not provide comparative data for previous years.
Following is a more detailed information about the types of fines financial service providers were ordered to pay in 2015 for breaching different laws:
- $5,690,306 in fines imposed on 84 individuals and firms for offences under the Securities Act and the Derivatives Act;
- $877,894 in administrative penalties imposed by the Bureau on 23 individuals and firms for offences under the Securities Act or the Derivatives Act;
- $1,147,926 in fines imposed on five individuals and firms for offences under An Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services;
- $128,250 in administrative penalties imposed by the Bureau on 22 individuals and firms for compliance failings under An Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services;
- $13,500 in fines and administrative penalties imposed on three individuals and firms for offences and compliance failings under the Money-Services Businesses Act;
- $885,000 in administrative penalties imposed by the AMF.
The most common offens last year were illegal distributions. The AMF brought 19 lawsuits against 47 entities and individuals and completing 38 lawsuits against 87 entities and individuals in 2015. A total of 141 individuals and firms were sanctioned for various offences under the laws administered by the AMF. That resulted in 51 lawsuits launched last year before the Court of Quebec. The following charges were laid in 2015:
- 632 charges for offences under the Securities Act and the Derivatives Act;
- 101 charges for offences under An Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services;
- 19 charges for offences under the Money-Services Businesses Act.
In addition, the AMF obtained 13 freeze orders against 45 individuals and firms. The combined amount of frozen capital stood at about $5.4 million.
“We are more determined than ever to ensure that those who violate the laws we administer are sanctioned. They significantly erode the confidence that is fundamental to effective market operations, and their behaviour cannot be tolerated,” AMF President and CEO Louis Morisset said. “Illegal distributions, fraud and misappropriation of funds are all examples of serious offences that must be severely sanctioned, as their impact on victims is often devastating,” he added.
In the AMF’s stance, prevention is a key element in the fight with fraudulent financial entities. The authority issued in 2015 a total of 15 investor warnings urging consumers to be cautious about scammers and fraudulent schemes. A great part of the regulator’s warning activities were focused on binary options, since it has received an increasing number of reports against this type of trading instrument.
In Canada, capital markets fall under the regulation of provincial watchdogs and legislation rules may vary in the different provinces. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), an umbrella organization of Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators, issued last month a consolidated report on the enforcement activities of all capital markets regulators in the country. According to the information, the regulators ordered last year the collection of more than $254 million from fraudulent financial service provider.
Source: News Wire