The volume of enforcement activity by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) declined a bit in fiscal 2019, but the sanctions regulators imposed during the year increased, the regulators reveal in their latest annual enforcement report.
The CSA report indicated the volume of securities enforcement dipped slightly compared to the previous fiscal year (ending March 31). For instance, the various provincial regulators launched 63 new enforcement proceedings last year, down from 70 cases in the previous fiscal year. They also concluded 94 cases during the year, down from 102 in the previous year.
Yet, while the volume of cases declined, the size of monetary sanctions increased from the previous year.
In total, the CSA imposed $77.5 million in fines and administrative penalties last year, up from $65.6 million. And, they ordered $109.9 million in restitution and disgorgement, compared with $59.2 million the previous year.
In terms of non-monetary sanctions, the CSA reported that 63 individuals were banned from participating in the capital markets in the last fiscal year; 100 cease-trade and asset-freeze orders were issued; 12 people were sentenced to a combined 36 years of jail time for Criminal Code offences; and another 11 people received 12.7 years in jail for quasi-criminal offences.
The report also indicated that the regulators received 156 tips to their various whistleblower programs, and that they issued 46 investor alerts about possible investment scams.
“Moving forward, the CSA is confident that we are building the right teams and leveraging the right technology to enhance our enforcement mandate,” said Louis Morisset, chair of the CSA and president and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), in the report.
“As our world becomes increasingly digital, enforcement of securities laws must also evolve,” he added in a release. “This year’s enforcement report shows that by deploying sophisticated investigative tools and techniques and by continuing to strengthen our connections – with each other, global enforcement partners and other regulators – we are keeping pace with emerging trends in Canada’s capital markets.”