IIROC announces penalty for Questrade Inc.

TORONTO, May 18 /CNW/ - A Hearing Panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has imposed a fine of $150,000 against Questrade Inc. for advertising margin rates below the minimum prescribed by IIROC for foreign exchange accounts and failing to collect the required margin from clients. The penalty decision, dated April 13, 2010, also requires Questrade to pay investigation and hearing costs totaling $50,000.

The decision follows a disciplinary hearing held in Toronto on April 28-30, 2009, in which an IIROC Hearing Panel found Questrade engaged in business conduct unbecoming of an IIROC Dealer Member Rule 29.1 by:

    1.  Advertising foreign exchange margin rates below the minimum
        prescribed by IIROC and its predecessor organization, the Investment
        Dealers Association of Canada (IDA), despite being advised by
        regulatory staff not to do so; and

    2.  Failing to obtain required margin from clients for foreign exchange
        despite being advised by regulatory staff to do so.

The Panel's decision and reasons associated with these activities was released November 6, 2009. In its April 13, 2010 penalty decision, the panel said the size of the fine was appropriate given several factors including the firm's cooperation with IIROC and its moves to comply with the November 6 decision. It also noted there was "no harm to individual clients."

The IDA began its investigation on May 14, 2007 and the violations occurred between December, 2006 and April 30, 2009. Questrade was an IIROC-regulated firm during that time and remains an IIROC-regulated firm today.

IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization which oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada. Created in 2008 through the consolidation of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada and Market Regulation Services Inc., IIROC sets high quality regulatory and investment industry standards, protects investors and strengthens market integrity while maintaining efficient and competitive capital markets.

IIROC carries out its regulatory responsibilities through setting and enforcing rules regarding the proficiency, business and financial conduct of dealer firms and their registered employees and through setting and enforcing market integrity rules regarding trading activity on Canadian equity marketplaces.

SOURCE Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) - General News

For further information: For further information: Jeff Kehoe, Acting Vice President, Enforcement, (416) 943-6996, jkehoe@iiroc.ca

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