OSC may soon approve a no-contest settlement agreement with TD Bank, reports CTV News.
It adds the case involves several client accounts that were allegedly overcharged between 2000 and 2014. Read more.
The OSC is expected to approve the settlement at a hearing on November 13th, so the details haven’t yet been released.
As such, TD hasn’t officially commented on the case, reports The Globe and Mail, but the bank did send a statement by email to the outlet. The email noted the bank self-reported the issue to regulators, and said TD has “already formulated a plan to, and is currently in the processes of, notifying and compensating clients and former clients impacted by the overcharges.”
More about no-contest settlements
The Ontario Securities Commission first proposed using no-contest settlements in 2011. These don’t require respondents to admit to the allegations against them, but they still have to pay fines and adhere to sanctions.
OSC then continued the discussion of whether to use them at its June 2013 enforcement forum; at the event, advocates sparred with industry experts. The latter group argued that even though it’s common practice for firms to admit to allegations, the Securities Act (of Ontario) doesn’t currently require firms to do so. In fact, a June 2013 OSC study found no-contest settlements were used to close two cases in the early 1990s.
Despite that fact, Dimitri Lascaris, of Siskinds LLP in London, Ont., pointed out at the June 2013 OSC forum, “There’s no stigma attached to [no-contest] settlements, [so] what’s the point of achieving less investor protection [faster]?” Such settlements make it difficult for investors to evaluate firms and advisors, he added.
One thing to consider is since Canada lacks a national regulator, no-contest settlements can only be adopted province by province.
The upside of adding speedier settlement options such as no contest settlements, according to OSC, is staff could resolve more cases each year by cutting down on prolonged proceedings. At the June 2013 forum, OSC director of enforcement Tom Atkinson clarified that “when heightened accountability from respondents is paramount, we’ll continue to seek admissions as part of any proposed settlement agreement.”
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