Canadian Securities Administrators encourage investors to check before they invest

Halifax – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)are encouraging all investors to participate in Check Registration Day on March 16, 2016 by visiting to see whether the individual or firm offering them an investment or advice is registered to do so.

Canadian securities regulators will only register firms and individuals that meet specific qualifications and standards. Checking the registration of the person or firm selling you stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other securities helps to protect investors and build confidence in our capital markets.

“We’re particularly concerned about unregistered activity around binary options,” said Louis Morisset, Chair of the CSA and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “Many binary options trading platforms are based overseas and, despite listing Canadian contact information, none of the companies managing these platforms are registered to conduct business in Canada.”

Binary options are essentially “bets” on how a particular underlying asset will perform in a limited amount of time. The CSA is aware of a number ofbinary options trading platforms, many purportedly based overseas in countries like Cyprus, Belize and the Seychelles, that are soliciting Canadians by making untrue and/or misleading statements about Canadian securities regulators’ oversight of binary options.  This has resulted in the CSA issuing an alert in 2015urging investors to use extreme caution when considering an investment in binary options.

Offering investment services or products in Canada, whether online or in person, is a regulated activity. The CSA are encouraging investors to take time on March 16, 2016 to check before they invest during its annual Check Registration Day. Here’s how:

Investors should immediately contact their local securities regulator if they discover that the person or company offering them an investment opportunity is not registered.

March is Fraud Prevention Month. Throughout the month, investors can follow tweets from@CSA_News and the hashtag #FPM2016 for tips on being a smart investor and preventing investment fraud.  Investors can also visit the Investor Tools section of the CSA website to learn more about making informed investing decisions.

The CSA, the council of securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, coordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets. Their mandate is to protect investors from unfair or fraudulent practices through regulation of the securities industry. Part of this protection is educating investors about the risk, responsibilities and rewards of investing.

For more information:

Kristen Rose
Ontario Securities Commission

Mark Dickey
Alberta Securities Commission

Richard Gilhooley
British Columbia Securities Commission

Sylvain Théberge
Autorité des marchés financiers

Ainsley Cunningham
Manitoba Securities Commission

Andrew Nicholson
Financial and Consumer Services
Commission, New Brunswick

Tanya Wiltshire
Nova Scotia Securities Commission

Janice Callbeck
Office of the Superintendent of
Securities, P.E.I.

Carl Allwood
Office of the Superintendent of Securities
Newfoundland and Labrador Securities

Rhonda Horte
Office of the Yukon Superintendent
of Securities

Shamus Armstrong
Nunavut Securities Office

Tom Hall
Northwest Territories
Securities Office