Ex-dealing rep sanctioned for lying about client's pension monies

MFDA says former Scotia dealing representative copied client’s signature and caused delay in home purchase

Ex-dealing rep sanctioned for lying about client's pension monies

The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) has issued a ban and a fine against Jason Martineau, a former dealing representative, for signing a client’s signature on forms for a transaction and misleading her on the reasons the transaction was delayed.

According to the Reasons for Decisions document, Martineau was registered as a dealing rep at a branch of Scotia Securities located in Sudbury during the time of the violations.

On January 25, 2018, a client instructed him to transfer the commuted value of her pension into an RRSP with Scotia. To facilitate the transfer, he reviewed and completed four forms with the client, which indicated that she wished to put the entire $16,227.57 value of her pension plan to an RRSP, which Martineau told her would take six to eight weeks.

However, he did not submit the transfer forms for processing until after the client inquired about the transfer of her pension monies on April 23, 2018. Martineau submitted the forms five days later, and told the client shortly afterward that “there was some kind of delay … this happens sometimes in the financial world when transferring funds from one place to another, companies do not like to let the money go.”

On May 4, 2018, Scotia sent a rejection notice directing him to complete two of the transfer forms. Rather than contact the client, Martineau completed the forms, signed the client’s signature, and resubmitted them for processing. A month later, Scotia sent another rejection notice advising that under the Income Tax Act, the client could transfer only part of her pension to her RRSP, and she needed to indicate what she wanted to do with the amount over the legal threshold. Again, Martineau filled in the missing details and signed the required forms behind his client’s back.

After another follow-up and another misleading statement from Martineau, the client called Martineau’s branch manager to complain about the delays in the transfer to her pension, and said she’d been told part of her pension would be deposited into her bank account against her wishes. She explained that she had wanted to use the monies from her pension plan to buy her first home, and she had missed several opportunities because of the delays.

Since Martineau wasn’t at the branch that day, his manager went to check his desk and found the rejection notices, as well as samples of attempts Martineau had made to imitate the client’s signature. When confronted, Martineau lied and told the manager the client visited the branch sometime after January 25, during which time she signed the forms. In subsequent interviews with MFDA staff, he said the client signed all the forms during the January 25 meeting and he denied signing the client’s signature.

Under a settlement agreement with the MFDA, Martineau is banned from being employed with any MFDA member for two years, and must pay a $17,500 fine.