CSA urges investors to check registration of those selling investments, offering investment advice
The Canadian Securities Administrators seeks to introduce changes to its registration information requirements to clarify the needed information, to improve the quality of information received by regulators and to lead to a more modernized and efficient registration and oversight process.
The CSA is also proposing changes to better clarify categories of outside activities that registrants need to report to their securities regulators and to codify the existing requirements on the oversight of outside activities which are positions of influence.
Other proposed amendments seek to change how registrants can disclose certain required information by minimizing duplicate filings, to limit the common errors on forms by giving clear requirements on the information that should be disclosed, to update reporting deadlines and to extend the timeframe for registrants to give updates relating to certain registration information.
The CSA is inviting stakeholders to share their written feedback on the proposed changes by May 5.
On Feb. 4, the CSA warned the public about a trading scam through online advertisements under the name of Mercury Crypto Invest, mostly posted on Kijiji. Mercury, which was not registered to trade in or advise on securities or derivatives with any securities regulator in the country, held itself out as a trader accredited with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and with the CSA, despite the fact that there is no such thing as a CSA-accredited trader.
The CSA’s Enforcement Committee and Investment Fraud Task Force worked together to address the risks to Canadian investors and reached out to ask Kijiji to take down the advertisements. The CSA’s alert urged investors to watch out for the same or similar advertisements that may reappear on Kijiji or other online platforms, to ignore promises of supposedly guaranteed high returns with little or no risk, to be careful of advertisements calling attention to the latest trends and pressuring people to buy, to not trust claims of insider information, to acquire independent and professional advice and to confirm the registration.
On Feb. 1, the CSA and IIROC issued a joint statement warning investors to consider the source of information and advice when making investment decisions, to be careful in online chat rooms that may display unregulated and inaccurate information and to check the registration of those selling an investment or offering investment advice.
The statement, which addressed the recent market volatility, ensured the public that the CSA and IIROC are closely monitoring the price movements of certain stocks which may be causing volatility in capital markets and investors’ compliance with disclosure requirements. The CSA and IIROC will embark on regulatory action to protect investors if they spot any abusive or manipulative trading activity, the statement said.