By Staff | March 14, 2007 | Last updated on March 14, 2007
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(March 14, 2007) An independent online security survey commissioned by TD Canada Trust that polled 1,500 of its personal and business banking customers across Canada found that customers are feeling less worried about the security of banking online than they were last year.

When asked, only 14% of TD’s non–online-banking users said security concerns were the reason they avoided it. This is down an astounding 53% from last year.

TD cites increased computer savviness of consumers as one reason for the dramatic drop. It says that compared to last year, more customers indicated an awareness of the different forms of online security threats, including viruses, spam and spyware.

Among business banking customers surveyed, TD found 92% knew about viruses, 80% about spyware, 58% about trojan horses, 55% about adware and 30% about phishing, a technique used by hackers to get personal info such as SINs and bank account numbers.

This awareness was lower among personal banking customers surveyed: 89% knew about viruses, 75% about spyware, 74% about spam, 53% about trojan horses, 48% about adware and 21% about phishing.

The study found that awareness has meant that online customers are heavy users of software solutions: 79% use firewalls, 86% use antivirus and security updates, 72% use anti-spyware, and 29% use anti-phishing software.

TD said that it, along with some other banks, has reduced the fears associated with online banking by offering free security software. TD also offers a 100% reimbursement policy in the event of account losses resulting from unauthorized online activity.

“The survey results prove what we’ve been seeing,” said Alexandra Shaw, TD Canada Trust’s VP of online banking. “Security concerns are not preventing growth in online banking — in fact, uptake continues as people become more aware of the benefits and of the many ways they can protect themselves. At TD Canada Trust, we’ve seen more than 1 million customers sign up in the past year alone.”

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Calgary advisor found complicit in assistant’s misconduct

(March 14, 2007) A hearing panel of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada has found a Calgary-based employee of BMO Nesbitt Burns guilty of failing to prevent his administrative assistant from signing client signatures on client account documentation without authorization.

The IDA said that Vance Elder knew of or was willfully blind to the fact that his administrative assistant was signing client signatures as well as his own on documents. As well, the panel found that Elder knew that his assistant was providing investment advice to his clients, something she was not officially authorized to do.

Elder’s administrative assistant, Catherina Blaker, testified that during the course of working as his assistant, she had been directed by Elder to sign his signature and client signatures on client account documentation in circumstances in which it was convenient and necessary to have the client account documentation completed.

IDA said Blaker also testified that she was led to believe that this was an accepted practice in the industry. With regards to giving financial advice, Blaker said that she would speak with clients and provide investment advice from time to time, as directed by Elder himself.

The hearing panel noted in its decision that the IDA’s case was principally based on the testimony of Ms. Blaker and that her credibility was thus “key to the determination of the panel.”

The IDA said that Blaker came across much more credible in the hearing than Elder, and other witnesses overwhelmingly gave support to her testimony.

A penalty is pending. The IDA said Elder continues to be employed with the Esso Plaza branch office of BMO Nesbitt Burns in Calgary.

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Brandywine appoints senior VP of public fund sales

(March 14, 2007) Brandywine Global Investment Management announced Wednesday the appointment of Douglas B. Baran as senior vice-president, public fund sales. Baran will be responsible for new business development, specializing in public funds.

Brandywine points out that Baran has 30 years’ experience in institutional investment sales. He was previously with MFC Global Investment Management, formerly John Hancock Advisers, where he served as national managing director of institutional sales.

“We are very pleased that Doug has joined Brandywine Global,” said Craig Scott, Brandywine Global’s director of U.S. institutional sales. “This is the next logical step in our evolution following the addition of a Taft-Hartley salesperson two years ago.”

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(03/14/07) staff


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