Quebec’s Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal has ratified an agreement between Montreal-based Peak Financial Group and the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).
The agreement dated May 31 states that Peak recognizes the compliance deficiencies identified in an April 2016 review and agrees to pay a penalty totalling $200,000.
Peak has also changed its chief compliance officer, Jean Carrier, who had already left that position before the settlement was approved.
The review found several breaches of securities legislation, which were largely the result of weaknesses in the firm’s internal controls and supervisory systems, the AMF says.
In addition to the sanctions against Peak, Carrier has agreed to pay a penalty of $20,000.
Peak has already taken action to correct the deficiencies uncovered by the AMF review, the company says in a news release published on Tuesday,
“A rigorous action plan will help strengthen our compliance culture internally and across the Peak network. Additional financial investments, dedicating time and resources to compliance and internal control, have been made in order to resolve the situation rapidly,” says Robert Frances, chairman and CE of Peak, in a statement.
Peak’s compliance issues don’t involve any fraud or dishonesty, the firm stresses, and investors haven’t suffered any losses as a result of the deficiencies.
“We deplore this situation, but it is important to reiterate that it involves errors that we will rectify quickly. The situation is an opportunity to improve our work and our services to our advisors and their clients,” adds Frances. “It in no way casts doubt on our business model — quite the contrary. Our objective is to continue to serve clients’ best interests with complete independence.”