OSC whistleblower program generates 200 tips in two years

By Staff | July 3, 2018 | Last updated on July 3, 2018
2 min read

The Ontario Securities Commission says its whistleblower program, the first of its kind by a Canadian securities regulator, has generated 200 tips in the two years since its launch (between July 2016 and June 30, 2018).

The program accepts tips on possible violations of securities laws in Ontario, and offers protections for people who provide tips. It also provides compensation of up to $5 million for “tips that lead to enforcement action,” OSC says in a release. Payments are made after cases are concluded and all rights to appeal are expired.

Other highlights of the program include:

  • 22% (or 45) of all tips that have been received are currently under review;
  • 10% (or 19) of tips have been referred to enforcement, with 7% (or 15) under investigation; and
  • 35% (or 68) of tips were or are in the process of being shared with another branch of OSC or another regulator for further action.

The benefit of the program, OSC says, is tips provided must be timely, specific and credible, and tied to securities-related misconduct by one or more individuals. Tips can be submitted anonymously through the Office of the Whistleblower website or through counsel, for example.

Read: OSC issues warning about 5 cryptocurrency firms

“The program is still in its infancy, but is already proving to be a powerful enforcement tool, as with our no-contest settlements and the option to self-report,” said Jeff Kehoe, director of enforcement at the OSC, in the release.

Read: No-contest settlements still hot-button issue (from 2015)

Further, the regulator says market participants have the opportunity to efficiently address compliance issues that they discover and self-report via a no-contest settlement, under specific circumstances.

The use of these settlements “has helped recover significant amounts of money for investors and resolved cases more quickly and efficiently,” OSC says. To date, it’s approved 11 no-contest settlements, resulting in more than $368 million in compensation to investors.

Also read:

OSC seeking members for seniors expert advisory committee

OSC’s ‘slow’ pace on priorities irks investor groups

Advisor.ca staff

Staff

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