The Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) published its 2022-23 Enforcement Report October 25, highlighting the new regulator’s enforcement activities during the past fiscal year.
Although the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) officially merged January 1, 2023, the previous two enforcement teams continue to operate as two divisions, the investment dealers and mutual fund dealer enforcement divisions.
“We are also proud to release CIRO’s Guide to the Enforcement Process, which represents a tangible step forward in bringing together our two enforcement divisions,” says CIRO’s senior vice president of enforcement and registration, Elsa Renzella.
In addition to summarizing concluded cases and resulting sanctions, the report also publishes consolidated statistics showing the source of complaints, top complaints reviewed, number of investigations concluded by province and respondent type, total sanctions imposed and the regulator’s collection rates.
Notably, in the investment dealer division, just four per cent of individuals paid up during the year while the regulator was successful in collecting sanctions from firms 100 per cent of the time. In the mutual fund dealer’s division, that collection rate climbs to 21 per cent of individuals paying their sanctions and 100 per cent of firms paying their penalties.
For investment dealers, top complaints include those about unsuitable investments 26 per cent of the time, unauthorized and discretionary trading 19 per cent of the time and misrepresentation 14 per cent of the time. In mutual funds, top complaints included those about suitability in 31 per cent of cases, business standards in 16 per cent of cases and unauthorized and discretionary trading eight per cent of the time.
All told, the investment dealer enforcement division completed 91 investigations, referring 41 per cent of those cases to prosecutions. In mutual funds, the division completed 96 cases, referring 46 per cent of those to prosecutions. The regulator concluded 31 proceedings in the investment dealer division and 77 proceedings in the mutual fund dealer division.
The regulator also says it is a priority in the upcoming year for CIRO to continue to pursue legislative authority giving it the ability to collect and present evidence and give the regulator statutory immunity from malicious lawsuits when it is performing its responsibilities in good faith.