Advisor cheered when nurse Shaida Bendali pleaded guilty to unregistered trading for selling the private information of as many as 14,000 patients at a Toronto hospital to three different RESP dealer representatives.
But while the former Rouge Valley hospital worker has admitted to crossing the line, it’s time for the financial services industry to do the same, suggests the lawyer representing the affected patients in a class-action suit.
“It’s clear the industry is a competitive industry and I’ve received calls from financial people across the country advising me they think some of their clients have endured similar activity, recruiting or whatever,” said Ottawa lawyer Michael Crystal, part of the legal team preparing the $300 million class-action lawsuit on behalf of former patients, most from the maternity ward. “Some people have become very competitive in how to get potential clients. This is an extreme case where people went to illegal lengths but this is information that has a currency.”
It’s not enough that the dealer representatives in question plead guilty, get sentenced and potentially do time. It isn’t just a case of a few bad apples ruining it for everyone else but rather a day of reckoning, requiring substantial reflection, not just by the industry itself but also the media who cover it.
“Where are we in our moral compass as to what we’re prepared to do to get more clients? Where’s the industry at?” Crystal wondered. “Where’s the oversight in all of this and what’s the future?”