OSC to offer millions to whistleblowers

OSC to offer millions to whistleblowers

OSC to offer millions to whistleblowers The Ontario Securities Commission is willing to break the bank in its bid to stop securities related misconduct.

The OSC published proposed policy Wednesday for its Whistleblower Program, which would include awards up to a maximum of $1.5 million regardless of whether the OSC recovers sanction monies ordered, and up to a maximum of $5 million if it does recover funds.

"The OSC recognizes that whistleblowers are an incredibly valuable source of information. We are providing strong incentives for them to come forward. Our whistleblower program is well-considered, and we believe it will result in real-time tips on complex securities law matters that may otherwise be difficult for us to detect," said Howard Wetston, CEO and Chair of the OSC.

The program would be the first of its kind for securities regulators in Canada, and under the proposed policy.

"This is a game changer for the OSC and our ability to achieve stronger outcomes for investors and the capital markets," Wetston said.

The whistleblower program is expected to increase the effectiveness of the OSC's Enforcement Program by giving the OSC access to high quality information about matters such as insider trading, accounting and disclosure violations and registrant misconduct.

The program is also expected to entice companies to self-report wrongdoing to the OSC.

The proposed policy was developed after extensive stakeholder consultation and sets out key details about the whistleblower program, including the type of information that may result in a whistleblower award; the criteria that would make an individual eligible for an award; and the factors to be considered in determining the amount of an award.   

Click here to view the full policy.