By Doug Alexander
Jan. 30, 2007 (Bloomberg) -- The
Investment Dealers Association of Canada, the self regulator for the
securities industry, inadvertently published details of complaints
against more than 2,000 brokers on the Internet for about 16 months.
The association posted the information
on its Web site in September 2005 and removed the list of brokers' names
on Jan. 26 after an IDA employee discovered the oversight, said Alex
Popovic, vice president of enforcement.
The incident was reported today in the
Toronto Star after the newspaper interviewed Robert Kyle, a former
broker who runs a Web site critical of self-regulatory organizations in
Canada's securities industry.
"We've had no complaints, the
information is typical of the type of information that's available in
the U.S.'' on the Central Registration Depository, Popovic said today in
an interview. "The reason we took it off the site is we feel this type
of information can be easily misinterpreted.''
The information came from ComSet, a
database the IDA uses to gather information about criminal complaints,
civil claims, internal investigations, and complaints from regulators
and customers against a broker, Popovic said. The IDA monitors the
information to see if the complaints are valid and whether there's a
regulatory breach it needs to investigate.
Complaints may be unfounded, Popovic
said, and "people are judged to be innocent until proven guilty.''
Kyle, a disbarred broker who was fined
by the IDA for not cooperating in an investigation in the 1990s, says
the database shows the IDA isn't doing enough enforcement.
Kyle said he sent the list to the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police and Toronto Police Service's fraud squad and he
plans to publish the information on his own Web site.
"My key issue is for the investors'
safety,'' he said. "They should be able to do due diligence and have
greater knowledge when they sign up with a broker. If the IDA says,
well, these are just frivolous complaints, why are they in this
IDA is reviewing the incident and has
changed the way it posts information on its Web site, Popovic said.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Doug Alexander in Toronto at
Last Updated: January 30, 2007 11:54