B.C. introduces stronger protections against white-collar crime
People in B.C. will be better protected from investment misconduct through improvements to the BC Securities Commission’s (BCSC) ability to investigate and crack down on white-collar crime.
“People want to know that the investment market is fair and honest – its money people count on for their retirement or their children’s future,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance. “By strengthening protections against fraudsters, we’re making sure the BC Securities Commission continues to have the tools it needs to ensure the rules are being followed and people’s financial well-being is protected.”
The legislative updates will help the BCSC protect people from investment market lawbreakers by:
- enhancing its power to gather evidence of investment misconduct;
- closing a loophole that prevented collection of BCSC-imposed penalties; and
- adding consequences for people convicted of investment-related criminal offences to help improve outcomes for the victims of these crimes.
“These amendments will give the BC Securities Commission better tools to go after the bad actors who harm investors and undermine confidence in the investment market,” said Brenda Leong, chair and CEO, BC Securities Commission. “By augmenting the consequences for those who impede our investigations and enhancing our ability to collect penalties, British Columbians will be better protected.”
The BCSC’s enforcement and collection capabilities are among the strongest of any securities regulator in Canada. The changes to the Securities Act will build on this strength, ensuring that the BCSC has the tools it needs to continue to protect the investment market.
To learn more about the BC Securities Commission, visit: https://www.bcsc.bc.ca/
A backgrouder follows.
- The BC Securities Commission is the regulator responsible for administering the Securities Act.
- The Securities Act regulates the buying and selling of securities, such as stocks, bonds and other financial instruments, and the raising of funds by companies in the capital market.
- The Securities Act was most recently updated in 2019, prior to which it was falling behind other provinces that regularly update their securities legislation.
- These amendments are a continuation of that process.
- The enhanced B.C. Securities Act will:
- help the BCSC obtain the evidence it needs to investigate misconduct by imposing consequences to witnesses who refuse to provide necessary information.
- improve BCSC’s ability to collect fines from fraudsters by removing enforcement barriers to collecting certain pensions funds.
- In 2020, B.C. was the first jurisdiction in Canada to gain better tools to investigate offences and collect money from wrongdoers, which can be returned to investors.