After the Insurance Council of British Columbia called the former representative “not financially reliable”, banning the rep from re-licensing as an insurance agent for five years, the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) has followed suit with its own slate of sanctions against former Sun Life Financial Investment Services (Canada) Inc. representative, Brent Polischuk.
The regulator has permanently banned Polischuk from conducting securities related business with any CIRO member, assessed a fine of $75,000 and costs in the amount of $10,000. During the course of Polischuk’s proceedings, his inability to pay the sanctions were not corroborated, but the regulator acknowledged that a permanent ban preventing him from returning to the industry makes it doubtful that Polischuk would be able to repay a substantial fine and his clients at the same time. “We will take this into account when imposing terms for the payment of penalties,” the CIRO hearing panel states. It subsequently gave Polischuk until May 2025 to pay his sanctions and costs.
The penalty for personal financial dealings with clients, the related conflicts of interest and for failing to cooperate with the investigations launched by his firm and the regulator, comes after the dealing representative borrowed $100,000 from one client, a friend, using his book of business as collateral in November 2018. (He did not own his book of business.) After failing to repay the loan after multiple extensions, SH filed a civil claim and settled with Polischuk in an agreement that Sun Life was not a party to.
In December 2019 he then borrowed $25,000 from a 74-year-old client who had recently suffered a heart attack, and did not repay the amount a month later, as was suggested that he would. Instead, Polischuk requested another $15,000 which the client, JN, declined. (JN has since been repaid with interest.)
Later, in February 2020, he borrowed another $30,000 from a third client, DN. Although he promised to repay the amount a month later, today he is still making $500 payments monthly to DN to repay the debt.
When audit letters were sent to clients following SH’s complaint to Polischuk’s firm, it was further found that he requested three different loans, declining in value from $160,000 to $50,000, all of which were declined by another client, JG.
The agreement published by the regulator also indicates that Polischuk’s lack of cooperation with the regulator’s investigation was significant.
The decision also cites the earlier Insurance Council of British Columbia investigation which found that he borrowed the $100,000 from SH to invest in a townhouse development. In order to give Polischuk the money, SH borrowed the funds using a home equity line of credit. “The risk to SH was therefore significant,” the decision states. The insurance council also found that his representation to SH that the loan would be secured by his book of business was false, as the book belonged to his employer and could not be assigned.