OSC to hold policy hearing on new enforcement tools

James Langton BFI investors plead for firm’s sale Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitter The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is finally planning to hold a long-awaited policy hearing on the possible adoption of several new enforcement tools, including no-contest settlements. The OSC said Monday that it will be holding a public policy hearing on June 17 to gather oral submissions from those who submitted written comments on an OSC proposal made back in October 2011, which floated the idea of several new enforcement initiatives designed to boost enforcement performance by increasing co-operation and encouraging settlements. OSC Staff Notice 15-704 Request for Comments on Proposed Enforcement Initiatives Most controversially, it broached the idea of allowing no-contest settlements, which it hoped would speed enforcement settlements by allowing respondents to settle OSC allegations without admitting or denying any wrongdoing. These sorts of deals are common features of U.S. settlements, and the idea is that this could help resolve cases more quickly, if respondents aren’t worried about making admissions that could come back to haunt them in civil trials. Comments submitted on the proposals initially suggested that defence counsel are generally in favour of this approach, whereas those who often act for plaintiffs in civil suits, and investor advocates, are not. While the use of no-contest settlements in the U.S. is still common, they have come under scrutiny and criticism there too in recent years. When the OSC initially proposed this, and several other enforcement initiatives, it pledged to hold a public hearing into these ideas in early 2012. But, until now, it has yet to do so. In its announcement Monday, the OSC says that it expects that the oral submissions will supplement, as opposed to duplicate, the written comments it has already received on these proposals. In addition to the no-contest settlements, it also proposed an initiative designed to boost co-operation by using ‘no-action agreements’, with the OSC explicitly agreeing not bring enforcement action in exchange for self-reporting incidents that may involve breaches of securities law, activities contrary to the public interest, and for co-operating in an investigation. It also said it would clarify the process for self-reporting, and enhance public disclosure of credit provided for co-operation. Mouth mechanic turned market manipulator PwC alleges deleted emails, unusual transactions in Bridging Finance case Keywords EnforcementCompanies Ontario Securities Commission Related news

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