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The number of notices of hearings and bulk track cases that the Mutual Fund Dealers Association issued in 2016 increased significantly compared with the previous two years.

The increase was due, in part, from compliance departments at member mutual fund dealer firms improving their detection and reporting of cases of non-compliance, in particular the use of false signatures on documents, says Shaun Devlin, senior vice president of member regulation and enforcement with the MFDA, who spoke at the Association of Canadian Compliance Professionals’ annual conference in Toronto on Monday.

Specifically, the MFDA held 52 bulk track case proceedings and a total of 111 notices of hearing in 2016, he notes. This compares to 36 bulk track cases and 69 notices of hearing in 2015, and 10 bulk track cases and 48 notices of hearing in 2014.

A bulk track proceeding allows for the bulk processing of similar case types before one hearing panel at a single sitting and allows for the efficient processing of cases.

In 2016, there were 47 signature falsification cases commenced.

“Members have gotten better at detecting these practices,” says Devlin, who also reminded conference attendants that penalties for signature falsification have increased recently because the practice is “never excusable.”

Read: Signature falsification a major issue among MFDA-licensed firms

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