Why Would 13 Canadian Securities Commissions Intentionally Deceive Investors?

Why Would 13 Canadian Securities Commissions Intentionally Deceive Investors?
Posted on January 29, 2018 | Larry Elford | Written on January 29, 2018
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

My circle of malpractice and misconduct investigators can find no possible public interest benefit, and considerable public interest harm, in learning that Securities Commissions are 'aiding the industry' in deceiving, and hiding essential information from the public.  

The video below shows (at the one minute mark) how the commissions in Canada informed the public about the difference between an investment salesperson and a registered investment adviser. (a fiduciary professional with a duty to "do no harm" to investors)  This 'clarity' was in place from September 2009 until January 2018, when for some reason, the commissions decided to eliminate some of the clarity for investors. They further removed (twice now) information which cautioned and informed investors.  Why?

Author's Video Note:

This is how a "confidence man" works:

Prior to September of 2009, the license and registration category of your investment "advice giver" was (in 99% of cases) one of the following two choices:

a) a registered investment adviser (the "Do no harm" fiduciary professional)


b) a registered "salesperson"  (the one where they could act against the investor interests) 

Investors were not well informed, back then, as most, if not all persons who were registered in the "salesperson" category preferred to call themselves by a non registered and non-regulated title, spelled "advisor".

By clever use of a single "Vowel Movement", millions of investors are deceived, and led to believe they have a "do no harm" fiduciary-duty professional, while the salesperson and the dealer have accomplished a clever bait and switch.  They will have convinced trusting clients that they are dealing with someone to be trusted, while actually hiding the saleperson's lesser duty of care.

“ the confidence man is someone who preys upon peoples confidence in them”


Fast forward to September of 2009, when the CSA (umbrella organization of all 13 Canadian Provincial Securities Regulators), decide to change the rules/laws in Canada, REMOVING  every mention of the word SALESPERSON in the Securities Act, rules.  They replace that rather clear term, with the term "DEALING REPRESENTATIVE".  To be fair, they did, in some documents place the word (Salesperson) in brackets, immediately behind the word "Dealing Representative".  That helped maintain some of the original info and intent of the disclosure.

Still, one a small step was taken in the direction of "editing out" the term "Salesperson" from the Securities Rules and laws in Canada.  The important thing to keep in mind, is that Securities Commissions did NOT move to eliminate the commission sales role from "advice givers", but rather they simply allowed commission-sales "advice givers" to obfuscate their 'label', to in effect be less clear and open to their investor clients. Allowing them to hide their registration and job role from investors.

They continued (as they do to this day) to refer to themselves as "Advisors" in most cases, despite Securities Act rules and laws against "misrepresentation of ones registration category".  It simply serves investment salespeople better if they do not tell their customers that they are "salespersons".  Trust (and the customer's money) is eaier to gain if they conceal the true "salepserson" registration behind a not-true advisor title...(gaining trust by cocealment?)


Fast forward to January 2018 and the new changes quietly put into place have now deleted the (salesperson) clarification from the "Understanding Registration" page of the CSA web site.  It appears that the provincial governement regulators truly do not want the public to "Understand Registration", when it comes to investment salespersons...

This again brings to mind the regulatory double mandate, double-bind,..of having to do what they industry pays them to do....or else.

Ten million Canadians who rely upon their investments to support themselves financially in retirement should not be treated to intentional obfuscation and apparent deception, by the investment industry, and most certainly not by government empowered (but industry paid/selected) securities regulators.

This smacks of foxes guarding the henhouse, and helping their fox friends to pillage the hens, while working for a provincial government which tells the public that they are safely regulated and protected.  It smacks of a breach of the public trust.

Letter Response

One truly wonders why 13 Provincial Government Securities commissions would 'en masse':  

a)  ignore laws about misrepresentation of registrants.

b)  alter the rules/laws (2009) to make it more difficult for investors to know whether they have a buyer beware 'salesperson' relationship, or a "do not harm" fiduciary 'adviser' relationship.

c) alter the rules again in January 2018 to further remove the public's ability to understand the two different relationships.  Is this what they meant for the "Client Relationship Model, CRM2?"  A model where customers are misdirected about the true sales relationship that millions of Canadians are led into...while all being told to "trust me, I am an advisor.....?"

Investors should be speaking to Parliamentarians, demanding protection from predatory investment services, and captured provincial regulators.  They should also be speaking to provincial members of the legislature to demand the same.  Taxation without representation is one thing.  Taxation while being intentionally put in financial harms-way, by government regulators is bordering on something illegal.  Please give us your views, your questions and your explanation if you know of a good one.

About The Author

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Investment Misconduct and Malpractice Analyst

Larry Elford is acclaimed as a qualified expert on the subject of White Collar Crime as it relates to the investment selling industry. He... More