By Staff | January 8, 2008 | Last updated on January 8, 2008
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(January 8, 2008) The global credit crunch isn’t good news for anyone, especially Toronto-based rating agency DBRS. The company shut down its three European offices on Tuesday.

The closures affect 43 people in Frankfurt, Paris and London.

DBRS says coverage of European credit would be done from North America, just as it was before the European offices were opened in 2005.

The cuts were not restricted to European operations, however. DBRS cut 42 staff in North America, with the cuts evenly split between the Toronto and New York offices.

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CSA issues $6.3 million in fines over six months

(January 8, 2008) The Canadian Securities Administrators has had a busy six months, issuing fines, settlements and disgorgements totalling about $6.3 million.

The CSA, an umbrella organization for 13 of the country’s regulators, released its Report on Enforcement Activities, which revealed that between April and September 2007, 58 cases were concluded involving 226 companies and individuals.

During that time, about $2.6 million was fined in illegal distribution cases, $20,000 for insider trading offences and more than $2.5 million in disgorgement for registrant misconduct issues.

The dollar figure on the fines was nearly 50% more than that in the last report, which outlined penalties from October to March.

In addition to monetary punishments, eight people were banned from more than one province or territory, 29 sanctions were ordered, and just 6 matters were withdrawn.

While the report doesn’t list how many cases were dismissed, or how much money is yet to be collected, Jean St-Gelais, chair of the CSA, says, “The results clearly demonstrate that Canada’s regulators take very seriously any risk to investors and the capital markets.”

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IDA hands down permanent ban

(January 8, 2008) They’re the two words no advisor wants to hear: permanent ban. But the IDA is giving one National Bank employee the boot.

Gilbert Pelletier, along with his partner, Simon Paul Sénécal, has admitted to advising and executing options orders despite not being registered to trade in or advise in options. He also recommended to clients to open option accounts even though it didn’t suit them, and he suggested unsuitable options trades for clients, among other things.

The offences occurred in 2000 and 2001, but the IDA only discovered what was happening in September 2003. Pelletier was fired from his job in mid-April 2004 and hasn’t worked at an IDA member firm since.

Sénécal’s penalty is lighter than Pelletier’s. He was fined $45,000, is suspended for four months and can’t sell options for five years for allowing his partner to commit the aforementioned offences. He’s also been ordered to pay $5,000 in costs.

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TD Bank says it’s not exposed to sub-prime

(January 8, 2008) TD Bank is putting the rumours to rest — it’s not exposed to sub-prime mortgages.

In a release today the bank said it “reconfirms it does not have any direct or indirect exposure to U.S. sub-prime mortgages, consistent with the bank’s third- and fourth-quarter 2007 disclosure.”

The financial institution also points out that its recent acquisition, Commerce Bancorp, has no exposure to the sub-prime mortgage market in its investment portfolio, though it does have “nominal” exposure in its loan portfolio.

Despite that, TD says it’s “comfortable with the credit quality of Commerce’s investment and loan portfolios.”

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Scotia Capital wins best foreign exchange bank award

(January 8, 2008) It’s a four-peat for Scotia Capital as it wins Global Finance magazine’s Best Foreign Exchange Bank honours for the fourth year in a row.

“Receiving this award for the fourth year in a row is a testament to our commitment to client service,” says Barry Wainstein, vice-chairman and global head of foreign exchange & precious metals, Scotia Capital. “We are honoured to receive this award because it is recognition of the depth and breadth of our knowledge and experience.”

To win, Scotia had to excel in a number of categories, including transaction volume, market share, scope of global coverage, customer service, competitive pricing and innovative technologies.

“Scotia Capital’s extensive product line, superb customer service and expanding global network make it the bank of choice for foreign exchange services for Canadian corporations and international investors and traders,” says Joseph D. Giarraputo, publisher and president of Global Finance. “The bank’s insightful foreign exchange research, strategy and advice are invaluable. Its NAFTA-wide platform and recent acquisitions by Scotiabank in Latin America and Asia display its international prowess.”

(01/08/08) staff


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