CSA issues notice on false or misleading applications

Registrants and applicants are being reminded of the possible consequences

CSA issues notice on false or misleading applications
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) has published CSA Staff Notice 33-320: The Requirement for True and Complete Applications for Registration, reminding firms and individuals about the ramifications of submitting false or misleading applications for registration.

“Unfortunately, false or misleading applications for registration have been a significant and recurring issue since the early years of securities regulation in Canada,” the notice said. “Staff has historically taken a strong stance against false or misleading applications, and will continue to do so in the future.”

"Applications for registration must be completed with truth and candour, and we expect firms to have robust policies and procedures in place to ensure this is the case for any applications they sponsor," said Louis Morisset, CSA chair and president and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers.

Those applying for registration are required to disclose information used by CSA staff to assess fitness for registration. It includes information relating to one’s current and previous employment. Those who are already registered are responsible for updating regulators about any changes in a timely manner.

The notice reminds registrants and applicants that carelessness or misunderstandings are not satisfactory explanations for non-disclosure. Decisions in past cases were cited, explaining that lack of attention to detail in accomplishing requirements reveals “either a lack of integrity … or a lack of competence.”

If detrimental information is found to not have been disclosed, it could result in CSA staff recommending that an application is denied; in the case of those already registered, they could face regulatory action, including a possible suspension of the registration.

The notice also reminds firms of their responsibility to “make reasonable efforts to ensure the truth and completeness of information that is submitted.” Should someone from a firm appear to have been complicit in delivering false or misleading information, or to have facilitated incomplete applications through carelessness, the firm may face regulatory action.

“The mere fact that an applicant or registrant has detrimental information to disclose does not necessarily mean that their application will be refused or that their registration status will be negatively impacted,” the notice said. “The nature and age of the detrimental event, and the circumstances surrounding it, will be considered when assessing the matter.”

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