Securities regulators doled out $250M in fines and penalties last year

Canada's securities regulators handed out almost $250 million in fines and penalties for securities violations last year, more than the amount meted out in the two years before that put together.

Canada's securities regulators handed out almost $250 million in fines and penalties for securities violations last year, more than the amount meted out in the two years before that put together.

The Canadian Securities Administrators, a group that represents provincial securities regulators across the country, said in its annual report Tuesday that regulators levied more than $138 million in fines in 2015, and collected more than $111 million in restitution and compensation for victims of securities violations.

That figure eclipses the $89-million total for 2013 and the $123 million levied in 2014.

"In enforcing Canada's securities laws, CSA members seek not only to sanction those who damage the integrity of our markets or cause harm to investors, we seek to deter financial misconduct," CSA chair Louis Morisset said.

The CSA is an umbrella organization for regulators such as the Ontario Securities Commission and Quebec's Autorité des marchés financiers, which ensure that proper rules are enforced  in Canada's securities industry. At the end of December, the industry was responsible for more than $2.39 trillion worth of stocks, bonds and other investments.

Last year, the CSA said regulators concluded 145 cases against 233 individuals and 117 companies, which in addition to the financial penalties listed above resulted in jail sentences totalling approximately 10 years handed down to 15 individuals.

They also began 108 cases against a total of 165 individuals and 101 companies. Those cases are still ongoing.

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