Quebec’s financial regulator not to reward whistleblowers

AMF, the regulatory and oversight body for the financial sector of Canada’s Quebec, has announced that it will not offer financial rewards to whistleblowers reporting violations of the laws of the Canadian province.

The AMF said its decision comes after a comprehensive analysis of whistleblower programs managed by other regulators, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Ontario Securities Commission, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

According to the AMF study, there is no certainty that a financial incentive triggers higher quality whistleblowing. Instead, the study has shown that the main motivator for whistleblowers is the protection of confidentiality.

Jean-François Fortin, Executive Director, AMF Enforcement, says,

“We are convinced that this protection, combined with anti-retaliation measures, as part of a structured, well-publicized program, will have a definite impact on the quantity and quality of wrongdoing reports made to the AMF, without the need for a reward. Our no-rewards approach also corresponds to that adopted by other regulators and organizations around the world and in Québec that have set up whistleblower lines”.

AMF already uses whistleblower reports as sources in its investigations but offers no rewards for these.

In the coming months, the regulator will be promoting a whistleblower program based on existing measures. The program will improve the framework for communication of information related to violations of the laws administered by the AMF via, in particular, the implementation of a secure channel.

The regulator notes that anti-retaliation protection for whistleblowers in financial sector legislation will eventually boost the effectiveness of its whistleblower program.

The official announcement from Quebec’s regulator can be viewed by clicking here.

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