FAIR Canada has today released a research report entitled “A Canadian Strategy to Combat Investment Fraud”. The report provides an overview of the types of securities fraud that affect retail investors and attempts to evaluate the Canadian system in place to protect investors from such fraud.
FAIR Canada’s report outlines nine recommendations to improve the system to better protect the Canadian investing public from investment fraud, including the need to: improve data collection; conduct more research; better coordinate amongst responsible organizations; identify emerging trends and key threats to investors; articulate clear enforcement priorities; assist victims in obtaining recourse; improve the registration check system; increase fraud detection (including the introduction of a whistleblower program); and launch an awareness campaign. The report also observes that there may be a nexus between the exempt market and fraud, and suggests this is an area that warrants further research.
Neil Gross, FAIR Canada’s executive director, said “we found a surprisingly limited amount of meaningful, publically-available information relating to the instance and prevalence of investment fraud in Canada. We are concerned that no one has a reliable estimate of the amount of investment fraud perpetrated in Canada. Without such information, it is difficult to evaluate how well investors are being protected. Certainly police and regulatory resources cannot be optimally prioritized without good data.”
- No formal strategy or framework exists to ensure that the system works efficiently to protect Canadians against investment fraud.
- Canada does not have a framework in place to collect, track and report on investment fraud complaints and aggregate that information at a national level.
- A significant portion of securities fraud enforcement cases involved unregistered individuals, but few individual investors check registration prior to investing. The current registration check system is not user-friendly for investors.
The Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Investor Rights has received funding from Industry Canada’s Contributions Program for Non-profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations. The views expressed in this report are not necessarily those of Industry Canada or of the Government of Canada. FAIR Canada thanks Industry Canada for its financial support.