MFDA settles with two advisors who used pre-signed forms

By Andrew Rickard | June 01 2016 11:30AM

The Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) has reached settlements with two advisors who kept and used pre-signed forms.

On May 27, the MFDA announced that it had approved two separate settlement agreements with Christopher Rainville and Richard Fenton.

Pre-signed account forms

Rainville, an advisor with the Investment Planning Council in Ottawa, used liquid correction fluid to change information on 89 account forms for 46 clients. The changes were made to reflect client instructions, but were done without having obtained the clients' initials. He was also found in possession of 39 pre-signed account forms for 26 clients.

While the MFDA notes that there is no evidence that Rainville received any financial benefit from changing or using these forms, it imposed a fine of $3,000, a 2.5% commission charge over one year which amounted to $7,027.31, as well as a one year period of close supervision which ended in May 2015. Rainville was also required to successfully complete the Conduct and Practices Handbook Course.

No evidence of client harm

Fenton, a branch manager with Investors Group in Orillia, and was found to be in possession of 12 pre-signed account forms for 8 clients, 5 of which had been used. Although there was no evidence that Fenton received any benefit from using the pre-signed account forms, or of any client harm or lack of authorization, the MFDA imposed a $8,000 fine, ordered him to pay $2,500 in costs, and ordered him to complete the Canadian Securities Institute's course for branch managers course.

Unlike most of those who have been punished by the MFDA, both Rainville and Fenton have paid their fines.