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Nearly $1-billion in securities fines unpaid

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Canadian investment firms have close to $1-billion dollars in outstanding regulatory fines, according to an industry association report.

In a recent paper released by the Small Investor Protection Association, it was determined that there is more than $899,216,448.32 in fines owing to Canadian regulators.

The paper, "Unpaid fines: a national disgrace" was released by SPIA this month to raise awareness of the issue of unpaid fines for breaches of financial services regulation levied by regulators against individuals or firms.

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The report breaks down fines based on provincial commissions as well as Canada's mutual fund and securities regulators.

"Unpaid fines contribute to a breakdown of trust in the system and reduced investor protection," writes Debra McFadden, who authored the report for SIPA. "Better collection of fines is needed but a legislated fiduciary standard for advice giving would reduce the number of complaints and lead to better financial outcomes for retail investors."

Earlier this year, Andrew Kriegler, chief executive officer of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, asked the Ontario government's standing committee on finance and economic affairs for legislative reform – stating the regulator's unpaid fines in Ontario was largely due to the organization's lack of power to enforce collection.

with files from Janet McFarland

Note: Figures are from year-end 2015 for most provinces; except Alberta and B.C. are as of March, 2015; Manitoba, IIROC are as of March, 2016.

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About the Author
Globe Investor Reporter

Clare O’Hara is a reporter at The Globe and Mail. Prior to that, Clare spent eight years as a staff writer at Investment Executive, a national newspaper for financial service industry professionals. More

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