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Financial services

Financial services Quebec

Quebec financial regulator cracking down on illicit money-services businesses

Quebec’s financial watchdog is cracking down on businesses that illegally run a money-services business.

Why it matters: So far this year the AMF announced that 11 small businesses or individuals pled guilty before the Court of Quebec to illictly operating a money-services business, the overwhelming majority of whom were fined $15,000 for each infraction.…

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Financial services White-collar crimes

Desjardins Financial Security Services fined $200,000 by regulator

Desjardins Financial Security Services Inc. has been fined $200,000 and costs of $25,000 following a settlement agreement reached with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada over its failure to conduct a reasonable supervisory investigation on one of its former representatives who misappropriated $3.7 million from several clients.…

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Financial services Quebec White-collar crimes

Nearly $8.8 million in monetary sanctions imposed in 2016 for Quebec securities offenses

When Judge Réna Émond of the Court of Québec imposed just before the Christmas holidays fines totaling $120,000 on Danny Gagné and ISpeedzone Inc. for illegal practice as a securities dealer, it wrapped up a good year for Quebec’s financial watchdog.

Nearly $8.8 million in fines and administrative penalties were imposed on 158 individuals and firms in 2016 for various offences under laws administered by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), according to the latest enforcement report by the regulator. …

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Business Financial services Legislation

Anti-Money Laundering regulations: FINTRAC issues guidance

Six months after new anti-money laundering regulations were introduced, Canada's financial intelligence group issued new guidelines dealing with so-called politically exposed persons and heads of international organizations.

The amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, published in June 2016 in the Canada Gazette, are arguably the most important changes to the anti-money laundering regime in the past eight years, according to legal experts.

The new regulations introduces a more flexible client identification regime, are expected to facilitate digital commerce, and imposes substantial new risk assessment requirements. It will require reporting entities to spend more money, resources and time to ensure that its current policies, procedures, risk assessments, and training programs are compliant.…

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Business Financial services

OSFI’s operational risk guidelines puts pressure on financial institutions

Many financial institutions, already grappling with growing regulatory demands, will find it challenging to implement a new operational risk management framework imposed by the federal financial watchdog by next summer, according to financial services experts.

The guideline comes on the heels of a series of onerous “expectations” issued by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) over the past several years on corporate governance and regulatory compliance management (Guideline E-13). The introduction of a guideline on operational risk, defined by OSFI as the risk of loss “resulting from people, inadequate or failed internal processes and systems, or from external events,” comes as no surprise as it is in line with the federal regulator’s views on how financial institutions ought to be managed, said Paul Belanger, group leader of the financial services practice at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto.…

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Accounting Business Financial services

OSFI delays implementation of new disclosure requirements

The federal financial watchdog has given Canada’s big banks an extension to implement global reforms that establish more consistent disclosure rules to allow them to focus and devote the “significant level of effort required” to implement new international accounting standards for financial instruments.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), globally renown as a dominant and strong regulator, originally adopted an aggressive timeline for the implementation of the revised Pillar 3 standards issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, an international banking regulator – and an equally aggressive stance towards the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9 Financial instruments accounting standard, according to financial services experts.

But the federal banking regulator recently softened its stance, and granted so-called domestic systemically important banks (D-SIBs) a year-long extension, until fiscal year ending October 31, 2018, to implement the revised Pillar 3 disclosure requirements.…

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Business Financial services

Fixed income market slowly inching towards increased transparency

The fixed income market, renown for its notorious opaqueness, is slowly inching closer towards greater transparency as Canada’s regulators are moving forward with plans to provide retail investors with trading data of corporate debt securities, according to industry professionals.

The Canadian Securities Administrators, the umbrella group for Canada’s provincial securities regulators, announced plans to make the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), a national self-regulatory organization that oversees all investment dealers and their trading activity in Canada's debt and equity markets, the information processor for the corporate bond market.

“Transparency is always a good thing, and it's long overdue for the corporate issuers, not as a class per se, but simply because you have that now in all of the other products,” said Geoffrey Cher, a Toronto securities lawyer with Wildeboer Dellelce LLP.…

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Business Financial services Intellectual property Weekend reads

Early days for fintechs in Canada

It may be early days in Canada for fintechs, a catchphrase for new innovative financial technology start-ups and major technology companies that are challenging traditional financial institutions on their turf by offering cheaper and easier-to-use Internet or smartphone based services like payment apps or peer-to-peer lending or digital currencies, but Canada’s Big Six banks are paying heed even though they appear to be on solid ground.

There is an inescapable sense that a transformation in the way that consumers access financial products and services is underway. Canada’s fintech sector is relatively new and small, with some 100 companies, but holds promise.…

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Business Financial services Quebec

Ambitious measures outlined to spur Quebec companies to enlist in stock exchanges

Quebec’s flagging public small and medium-sized financing ecosystem must be bolstered to incite companies to enlist in stock exchanges, spur business to grow faster, and restore Montreal’s status as a major financial centre, according to a report by a working group that received financial and logistical support by the Quebec Order of CPAs.

A blue-ribbon panel of some 30 experts, hoping to “re-energize” Quebec’s languishing public corporate finance ecosystem, issued a series of “ambitious” recommendations calling for a series of tax breaks and incentives, the simplification of accounting and regulatory requirements for public SMEs, inducements to encourage the hiring of analysts based in Quebec and specialized in the SME public market, and have the Toronto stock exchanges set a target of 20 per cent of listings originating from Quebec.…

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Business Financial services Internet Legal business Legal Practice Management Weekend reads

The sharing economy: A Pandora box for legal protection insurers

The practice of law is under duress.

Legal service innovations driven by digitalization and globalization are propelling seismic change. So too is the emergence of the sharing economy model which has taken the world by storm. Novel ways of delivering new products and services are seemingly materializing daily to satisfy increasingly demanding and fickle consumers.

The rapidly evolving landscape is putting a strain on traditional business models, while governments and regulatory authorities are scrambling to keep up with the dizzying pace of change. But with change comes challenges – and opportunities – for legal service providers and legal protection insurers alike, all of which was explored at a conference held in Montreal recently by the International Association of Legal Protection (RIAD).…

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