By Staff | August 21, 2007 | Last updated on August 21, 2007
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(August 21, 2007) It had to happen — a Canadian bank is now on Facebook, the popular social networking website. Declaring itself to be the “first Canadian financial institution” to engage students through such a site, TD Canada Trust has opened the TD Money Lounge.

“Many students spend a lot of time in online social spaces communicating and sharing advice,” says Su McVey, vice-president, customer segments and strategy, TD Canada Trust. “The TD Money Lounge was created to give them a place to talk about money and share budgeting strategies.”

The new Facebook group allows post-secondary students to discuss their finances, and includes a tool that allows students to split common bills with roommates. The bank is also offering tips on how to live within the constraints of a budget — essentially the first step toward developing a financial plan. No doubt the bank hopes students will remember such assistance when they graduate and start investing.

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Advocis takes on organized crime

(August 21, 2007) Advocis has launched a new series of support services to help members remain compliant with the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.

“There are numerous compliance obligations under this Act that members need to act on above and beyond their obligation to report suspicious activity,” says Advocis president Steve Howard. “That is why after vigorously advocating on behalf of members to raise various compliance issues, we have developed the tools that advisors need to become compliant.”

Recent changes to the Act require advisors to put in place a compliance regime regardless of the size of practice or discipline.

The new suite of services includes a bulletin on the changes to anti-money laundering regulations and new content in the Advocis Best Practices Manual. Advocis is also offering members web-based training and a CE module.

For access to the Emerging Regulatory Issues Bulletin, please click here.

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Wellington West taking capital market unit private

(August 21, 2007) Wellington West Holdings has announced it will buy the remaining 50% stake in Wellington West Capital Markets that it did not already own, pending regulatory approval.

“Our Capital Markets team is a juggernaut,” said Charlie Spiring, CEO, Wellington West Holdings. “We are thrilled to further solidify our partnership. The quality of deals and the industry recognition that our Capital Markets division earns is phenomenal.”

The terms of the acquisition require the entire purchase price to be paid in shares of Wellington West Holdings, and the execution of long-term agreements with all the principals of Wellington West Capital Markets.

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AIM Trimark expands T-FLEX lineup

(August 21, 2007) AIM Trimark has extended its tax-efficient flexible distribution series (T-FLEX) to 14 additional funds, bringing the number of funds available under this option to 17 — including 12 mutual funds and 5 private pools.

T-FLEX series funds are structured to pay out a fixed monthly distribution, which is reset at the end of each year. Investors can choose from three target annual rates of return: 4%, 6% and 8%.

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Banks reassure money market investors

(August 21, 2007) Several major banks have moved to reassure the public that their money market funds are not exposed to the current liquidity problems in the asset-backed commercial paper market.

TD Bank Financial Group has reiterated that it has no exposure to the products covered by last week’s agreement between major market players, which allowed the ABCP to be converted into floating rate notes.

TD pointed out in a press release that all ABCP held in its Canadian money market funds is sponsored by major Canadian banks. TD Asset Management controls over $9.6 billion in its TD Canadian Money Market fund and TD Premium Money Market fund.

Scotiabank has declared that its money market funds are also clear of any exposure to “non-bank sponsored multi-seller conduits,” U.S. sub-prime, collateralized debt obligations or derivatives markets. The Scotia Money Market fund has $1.5 billion in assets.

CIBC also released a statement reassuring investors that none of its money market funds, including those under the Talvest and Renaissance brands, were exposed to the illiquid ABCP. The CIBC Money Market fund alone has assets worth $3.2 billion.

BMO Financial Group has also affirmed that neither its BMO money market funds nor those of its GGOF subsidiary were exposed to non-bank commercial paper, U.S. sub-prime, collateralized debt obligations, or derivatives markets. The BMO Money Market fund and the BMO Premium Money Market fund hold combined assets in excess of $1.3 billion.

Last week, RBC Asset Management released similar assurances. Yesterday, National Bank and Desjardins announced they would buy the ABCP from their money market funds for cost with interest, to shelter investors from any potential ABCP fallout.

(08/21/07) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.