According to IIROC, enforcement priorities in 2013 included
focusing on the protection of seniors and vulnerable investors,
unsuitable investment recommendations and firms' supervision of
retail operations. In relation to the market activities,
IIROC's enforcement focus was on the identification,
investigation and prosecution of cases involving manipulative and
deceptive trading (including such practices as wash trading,
spoofing and layering).
Ultimately, IIROC conducted 200 investigations in 2013
across Canada. The regulatory violations most prosecuted against
individuals related to due diligence, handling of client accounts
and suitability. Inappropriate personal financial dealings,
discretionary trading and off-book transactions also garnered a
number of prosecutions. In the case of firms, prosecutions were
most likely in relation to concerns over supervision and capital
deficiencies. Sanctions against individuals and firms totaled
almost $8 million.
In respect of policy initiatives and developments, the report
highlights IIROC's project to consolidate its enforcement
rules, its draft sanction guidelines, and its efforts to
collect fines and cost awards, which include new legislative powers
in Quebec to facilitate enforcement of IIROC's disciplinary
decisions in the province and the authority to enforce cost orders
in Ontario in light of a 2013 Superior Court decision. IIROC also
states that it intends to begin publishing on its website a
list of disciplined individuals who are delinquent in the payment
of monetary sanctions.
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In Ontario Securities Commission v. Tiffin, the Ontario Court of Justice clarified the limits of the definition of "securities" under s.1(1) of the Securities Act, as it relates to promissory notes. The defendant in the case was charged with trading in securities without being registered and while prohibited, and without filing a prospectus.
The OSC has issued a press release advising stakeholders that Ontario securities law may apply to any use of distributed ledger technologies, such as blockchain, as part of financial products or service offerings.
The use of electronic signatures is becoming increasingly commonplace in commercial transactions, as individuals and businesses capitalize on the administrative efficiency afforded by today’s digital world.
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