Canada’s first Investor Protection Clinic launches

Maria Nikolova

The Clinic provides pro-bono legal advice and assistance, including drafting complaint letters and negotiating settlements, to people in Ontario.

Canada is making another step in securing protection of vulnerable investors via the launch of its first Investor Protection Clinic.

The Clinic is a joint project of FAIR Canada, the Law Foundation of Ontario and Osgoode Hall Law School. The main function of the Clinic is to provide pro-bono legal assistance to people in Ontario who have invested their savings and suffered an investment loss but cannot afford to hire a lawyer to help them.

Common issues that the Clinic may be able to help with include, for instance, cases where one’s advisor misrepresented the risk of the investments he/she put the investor in, or cases where investor funds were used in ways that the investor was unaware of. The Clinic may be able to assist investors by:

  • writing a complaint letter on one’s behalf to the company or the regulator;
  • giving investors options on how to proceed with their issues;
  • or even representing an affected person at a hearing.

Importantly, the Clinic is unable to help with losses that occurred as a result of market forces and risks inherent in investing. This is a key difference between the Clinic and the fraudulent schemes that claim to help investors recover the money lost to, say, a fraudulent binary options broker.

The Clinic is staffed with Osgoode Hall Law School students that are paired with supervising lawyers from law firms in Ontario. The Investor Protection Clinic also functions as a research lab, collecting data in an anonymized way that will be used for research purposes.

The Investor Protection Clinic reviews each request for legal assistance. Whether or not the Clinic can provide an investor with legal services is determined on a case-by-case basis. The Clinic will decide whether or not to take a person on as a client by considering factors such as, but not limited to: income, assets, net worth, and the nature of the concerns.

The launch of the Investor Protection Clinic is announced shortly after the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), an organization which has among its members the securities regulators from 10 Canadian provinces and 3 territories, made a move towards protecting investors by introducing a ban on binary options. The ban covers all sorts of “binary options”. It will apply to binary options, regardless of the specific name. This means that the prohibition will cover (list is not exhaustive) “all-or-nothing options”, “asset-or-nothing options”, “bet options”, “cash-or-nothing options”, “digital options”, “fixed-return options” and “one-touch options”.

The new rules prohibit advertising, offering, selling or otherwise trading a binary option with or to an individual.

Read this next

Retail FX

Italian watchdog red flags Olympus Brokers, UnicoFX and Allfina Group

Italy’s Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has shut down new websites in an ongoing clampdown against firms it accuses of illegally promoting investment products in the country.

Retail FX

XTB revenues hits zł1.45 billion in 2022, Q4 earnings disappoint

Poland-based Forex and CFDs broker, XTB has reported its final results for Q4 of 2022 and the full fiscal year ending on December 31, 2022, showing one of its most successful corporate years.

Executive Moves

Lirunex Limited recruits Waleed Salah as head of MENA sales

Maldives-based brokerage firm Lirunex Limited has secured the services of Waleed Salah, who joined the company in the role of its head of sales for the MENA region.

Executive Moves

Trading 212 parts ways with co-founder Borislav Nedialkov

Trading 212 has a void to fill at its FCA-regulated business in London, following the departure of two key players, Raj Somal and Borislav Nedialkov.

Digital Assets

Binance acquires troubled crypto exchange GOPAX

Binance, the world’s largest digital asset trading platform, has reportedly acquired a majority stake in the troubled South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange GOPAX.

Digital Assets

Kraken exits Middle East, closes UAE office

Digital currency exchange Kraken will close down its operations in Abu Dhabi, UAE and lay off the majority of its team focused on the Middle East and North Africa.

Industry News

CFTC comments on ION Cleared Derivatives issues after Russian-linked hack

“The ongoing issue is impacting some clearing members’ ability to provide the CFTC with timely and accurate data. As this incident unfolded, it became clear that the submission of data that is required by registrants will be delayed until the trading issues are resolved.”

Industry News

FCA took down 14 times more misleading ads in 2022 thanks to technology

The FCA has made significant improvements to the digital tools it uses to find problem firms and misleading adverts. These improvements have enabled it to work through a much larger number of cases compared with 2021.

Executive Moves

HKEX appoints ex-Goldman Sachs Matthew Cheong to lead platform’s focus on derivatives

“He has worked for a number of the world’s leading investment banks and his experience will be invaluable to HKEX as we continue to enhance our derivatives product offerings and build on our innovative and robust platform business, connecting capital with opportunities.”

<