In a bid to help the victims of financial crime, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is expanding its work with victim support services.

The Quebec regulator says that it signed an agreement with the Montérégie, Côte-Nord and Outaouais Crime Victims Assistance Centres (CAVAC) MOnday, which establishes a protocol to enhance the support offered to victims of financial crime by allowing AMF staff to refer them directly to CAVAC in the regions in question.

The arrangement aims to help reduce the isolation of victims of financial crime in these regions. It follow an initial agreement reached in April 2013 with the Montréal CAVAC.

“Abuse of trust is at the heart of many financial scams in which AMF staff is asked to intervene, in particular staff assigned to investigations, litigation, compensation, client services and complaints. This abuse leaves scars which can lead to feelings of shame, sorrow, guilt, distress and anger,” said Louis Morisset, AMF president and CEO.

“Through a closer relationship with the Montérégie, Côte-Nord and Outaouais CAVAC Centres, which are recognized organizations with specialized caseworkers, victims of financial crime from these regions will have better access to services and support adapted to their needs,” he said.

The free, confidential services are available to victims who seek support, regardless of whether a perpetrator is identified, apprehended, prosecuted or convicted. “Our specialized caseworkers are trained to offer front-line psycho-socio-legal services to victims of financial crime. These agreements will allow us to reach and assist sometimes vulnerable clients who may be reluctant to ask for help despite the impacts of victimization,” said Catherine Cartier, head of the Montérégie CAVAC.