BCSC releases 2017 Compliance Report Card

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – June 28, 2017) – The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) today released its 2017 Compliance Report Card. The annual report card summarizes the findings from the BCSC’s compliance reviews of B.C.-based portfolio managers, investment fund managers, and exempt market dealers over the last fiscal year.

“Our goal is to foster a culture of compliance with our market participants,” said Mark Wang, Director of Capital Markets Regulation at the BCSC. “This report is intended to help compliance professionals improve their compliance programs by highlighting problem areas we saw.”

At March 31, 2017, there were 116 firms directly registered with the BCSC. In its reviews, the BCSC found the following positive practices among firms with good cultures of compliance:

  • Reviewing guidance from CSA Staff Notices to take timely proactive corrective actions
  • Consulting with BCSC relationship managers to resolves issues before they become compliance deficiencies in a compliance exam
  • Providing meaningful annual chief compliance officer (CCO) reports to their firm’s board
  • Considering how changes to business, staff, or revenue may affect compliance programs, and updating policies and procedures manuals appropriately

The report also noted that in the 26 compliance reviews conducted last year, 171 total compliance deficiencies were found, averaging 6.58 deficiencies per review. The top areas for deficiencies were:

  • client statements and reporting
  • registration administration
  • know-your-client and suitability
  • policies and procedures
  • disclosures
  • advertising, marketing, and holding out

The top deficiency areas represent approximately 59 per cent of all compliance deficiencies found.

“We will continue to focus our compliance reviews on these top deficiency areas for the year ahead,” said Wang. “We recommend that CCOs review this report card, as well as ongoing guidance from CSA Staff Notices, to ensure their compliance programs meet regulatory requirements and to reduce the likelihood of adverse findings in a BCSC compliance review.”

More detailed information can be found in the 2017 Annual Compliance Report Card, now available on the BCSC website.


About the British Columbia Securities Commission (

www.bcsc.bc.ca
)

The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:

  • A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
  • A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital

Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org.

Contact Information:
Media Contact: British Columbia Securities Commission
Alison Walker
604-899-6713

Public inquiries:
604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free)
inquiries@bcsc.bc.ca
www.bcsc.bc.ca

BCSC panel finds that former Whistler resident engaged in market manipulation

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – June 27, 2017) – A British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) panel has found that Volkmar Guido Hable engaged in market manipulation and submitted false information to the Commission.

Hable was a Whistler, B.C. resident and the executive vice president of mining and exploration of Samaranta Mining Corporation during the period relevant to the findings.

The panel found that on February 18, 2013, Hable wrote a letter on behalf of a company called Samarium Group Holding stating Samarium’s intention to make a take-over bid for at least 51 per cent of the shares of Samaranta at $.12 per share. Hable was listed as one of Samarium’s directors in the letter. Hable also drafted and issued a press release on behalf of Samarium on February 19, 2013, announcing the terms of the offer. Prior to issuing the letter and the press release, Hable had attempted to sell shares of Samaranta at $.02 and $.03 per share with limited success. Hable and his minor children were the beneficial owners of over five million Samaranta shares.

During the trading days of February 20, 21 and 22, 2013, Hable sold all of his Samaranta shares at prices between $.025 and $.055 for total proceeds of approximately $157,000. After all of Hable’s shares were sold, Samarium issued a press release withdrawing its take-over bid for the Samaranta shares.

In its decision, the panel stated “We have no difficulty in inferring that the purported take-over bid for the shares of Samaranta by Samarium Group Holding was not genuine and was made with the express intent of creating demand for and a better price for Hable’s Samaranta shares.”

The panel also found that Hable submitted a false document to a BCSC investigator in response to a request to provide documents that would prove Samarium’s financial ability to complete the take-over bid. Hable submitted a document that purported to be the 2012 annual report for a company called Samarium Group (Holding) Pte. Ltd. The panel found that the document was actually an altered, and hence fabricated, annual report of another company.

The panel directed the parties to make submissions on sanctions according to the schedule set out in the findings.

You may view the findings decision on our website, www.bcsc.bc.ca, by typing Volkmar Guido Hable or 2017 BCSECCOM 209 in the search box. Information about disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website.

Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators’ (CSA) Disciplined List for information relating to persons and companies disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA).


About the British Columbia Securities Commission

(www.bcsc.bc.ca)

The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:

  • A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
  • A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital

Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org.

Contact Information:
Media Contact:
Alison Walker
604-899-6713

Public Inquiries:
604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free)
inquiries@bcsc.bc.ca

Aviation safety: One step closer to a safe ratio of 1 flight attendant for every 40 passengers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – June 27, 2017) – CUPE welcomes the recent recommendation of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities that the federal government review the current flight attendant ratio of 1 flight attendant for every 50 passengers. CUPE expects the government to move quickly on this issue.

The committee’s report is a follow-up to hearings held from April to June 2017 on the safety of Canada’s civil aviation system. CUPE is pleased to note that committee members echoed our recommendations, which were presented at the hearing on April 6.

During the federal election, the Liberal Party criticized the Conservative government’s decisions on aviation safety. The Liberals committed to “make informed decisions based on evidence and data,” and promised to keep the safety of all Canadians as a top priority.” CUPE expects the government to respond positively to the report and support its adoption in the House, so that the ratio can quickly be revised, restoring a proper level of air safety for passengers and crew.

“We are confident the Liberal government will make the safety of all Canadians a priority by quickly starting the process of revising the ratio, and delivering on its promise to hold appropriate consultations with stakeholders and experts,” said Mark Brancelj, President of CUPE’s AirlineDivision.

CUPE represents more than 10,000 flight attendants employed by nine airlines. CUPE explained to parliamentarians that the change in the ratio of flight attendants to passengers exposes air carriers and passengers to much greater risk, all to cut costs.

At the hearings, Jordan Bray-Stone, chair of the Health and Safety Committee of CUPE’s Airline Division, said that when emergency exits are left unattended because there aren’t enough flight attendants, passengers have to assume the responsibility. These passengers are not mentally prepared, and they lack the training to deal with an emergency exit. This constitutes an unnecessary and unacceptable risk for passengers and crew members.

CUPE would like to acknowledge the work of the New Democratic Party, which, in a companion report, took a strong stand in favour of re-establishing the 1:40 ratio for flight attendants. The NDP rightly concluded that the current ratio “is clearly insufficient to ensure passengers’ complete safety in the event of turbulence, cabin decompression, an on-board fire or an emergency evacuation.”

“Given the existing studies, we hope that the government will reinstate the one in 40 ratio as soon as possible. It’s a ratio that’s been demonstrated to be safe,” said Brancelj.

Contact Information:
Philippe Gagnon
Media relations, CUPE
(613) 894-0146
pgagnon@cupe.ca