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B.C. Securities Commission imposes first no-hearing penalty against company

The B.C. Securities Commission says it has processed the first penalty without a hearing against a company for a minor violation in order to speed up compliance in the investment market.
B.C. Securities Commission executive director Peter Brady.

The B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) has levied a $12,000 administrative fine against investment fund manager Capstone Asset Management Inc. without a hearing — a first-of-its-kind enforcement mechanism.

Last year, the commission was granted new administrative powers to bypass a hearing for minor investment market violations.

In this case, Langley-based Capstone held $480 million in assets but just $4.8 million in insurance. The minimum required insurance is one per cent of the fund, plus a dollar.

The commission stated in a news release there was no client harm; however, the penalty followed a previous BCSC staff finding that the firm failed to comply with insurance requirements in 2018.

Commission executive director Peter Brady said a $12,000 penalty was appropriate for the two violations combined.

“The purpose of Administrative Penalties Imposed by Notice is to address violations of investment rules that typically won’t be serious enough to warrant a full-blown enforcement hearing,” stated Brady.

Because the firm did not dispute the finding and paid the penalty, a public notice was issued, per the legislation that came into effect in 2020.

But under the rules, Capstone, or any other entity for such proceedings, could have disputed the finding to the executive director.

Were that to occur and the executive director sticks to their decision, the company or person could then request a hearing and review by a panel of commissioners. If a panel decision remains unsatisfactory, the company or person may appeal to the Court of Appeal of B.C.

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