IDA Hearing Panel fines Hal Julian Biren $25,000

    TORONTO, Dec. 13 /CNW/ - A Hearing Panel of the Investment Dealers
Association of Canada (IDA) appointed pursuant to By-law 20 has imposed
discipline penalties on Hal Julian Biren, at all material times an Approved
Person with the North York branch of TD Waterhouse Canada Inc.
    Following a settlement hearing, the Hearing Panel considered, reviewed
and accepted a Settlement Agreement negotiated between IDA staff and Mr.
Biren. Pursuant to the Agreement, Mr. Biren admitted that, between February
2001 and March 2004, he failed to use due diligence to learn and remain
informed of the essential facts relative to a customer when accepting an
account and instructions on the account, contrary to Regulation 1300.1 (a) and
By-law 29.1; and between June and September 2001, he conducted trades in the
account of a client upon the instructions of a third party without the
client's knowledge or consent and without a written trading authorization from
the client, contrary to Regulation 200.1(i)(3) and By-law 29.1.
    Specifically, Mr. Biren opened a spousal RRSP account for a client who
was a family member. The New Client Application Form (NCAF) was not provided
personally by the client, but rather by her husband who was Mr. Biren's
relative. Although the NCAF contained the client's purported signature, Mr.
Biren did not witness the client sign the application and did not contact her
to discuss and confirm the information contained within it. Furthermore, Mr.
Biren traded in the client's account without contacting the client; he
executed trades on the client's husband's instructions without receiving the
required client trading authorization and transferred funds from the client's
account to her husband's account to resolve a margin call in that account.
    The IDA discovered this conduct as a result of a series of ComSet reports
commencing in December 2004.
    In determining penalty, the Hearing Panel considered that Mr. Biren has
no prior disciplinary record, he was blinded by his trust of the client's
husband who was a very close blood relative of his, the client's account was a
spousal RRSP account the money for which came from the husband, and the
amounts involved were small. The Hearing Panel found that the Settlement
Agreement reasonably addressed the purpose of disciplinary sanctions taking
into account both the seriousness of the breaches and the offsetting
mitigating factors.
    For his misconduct, Mr. Biren has been fined $25,000 and is required to
pay $7,500 in costs. In addition, he must re-write and pass the Conduct and
Practices Handbook exam within 120 days. He is required to be under close
supervision for 12 months, and for a period of 24 months, transfer existing
accounts and not open any new account for: (i) his spouse; (ii) any person to
whom he is related by birth or adoption, or his brother or sister, or (iii)
the spouse of any person listed in (ii).
    Mr. Biren is currently employed with the Markham branch of HSBC
Securities (Canada) Inc., an IDA Member firm.

    The Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA) is the national
self-regulatory organization of the securities industry. The IDA's mission is
to protect investors, foster market integrity and enhance the efficiency and
competitiveness of the Canadian capital markets. The IDA enforces rules and
regulations regarding the sales, business and financial practices of its
Member firms and their approved persons. Investigating complaints and
disciplining Members and approved persons is part of the IDA's regulatory
role. It is IDA policy to ensure that where relevant, referrals to the
appropriate policing authority are made.

For further information:

For further information: Alex Popovic, Vice-President, Enforcement,
(416) 943-6904 or; Jeffrey Kehoe, Director, Enforcement
Litigation, (416) 943-6996 or

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