BCSC alleges that former registrant gave misleading and unsuitable advice on purchase of securities
VANCOUVER, Dec. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - The Executive Director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing alleging that a former registrant advised an investor to purchase exempt market securities when she was not registered to do so.
The notice alleges that Roberta Merlin McIntosh (a.k.a. Bert McIntosh, Roberta Sims, Roberta Butcher, Roberta Mayer), a B.C. resident and former registrant who resigned in 2003, advised an investor to buy certain exempt market securities in April 2011. McIntosh was not registered when she did this. The investor followed McIntosh's advice, purchasing US$111,190 and CDN$40,000 worth of exempt market securities. McIntosh received referral fees totaling $11,732.84.
The notice also alleges that McIntosh misrepresented the exempt market securities as a prudent investment, and failed to disclose to the investor that the offering memoranda described them as "highly speculative" and "a risky investment".
BCSC staff maintains that McIntosh also recommended securities unsuitable for her client. The offering memoranda stated that an investor should purchase the securities "only if it is able to bear the risk of the entire loss of its investment", and that the securities "should not constitute a significant portion of a Subscriber's portfolio." McIntosh advised the investor, who was reliant on disability payments and investment income, to allocate over one-third of her investment to these high-risk illiquid securities.
Under the Securities Act, individuals offering investment advice related to securities must be registered, and registrants are required to ensure the investments they recommend are suitable for their clients. McIntosh was not registered with the Securities Commission in any capacity when she advised the investor, and BCSC staff contends that she recommended securities that were unsuitable for her client. In doing so, McIntosh breached securities laws regarding registration requirements, suitability and misrepresentations.
The notice also states that McIntosh is a former insurance licensee who was suspended for five years in 2012 because, between 2003 and 2007, she recommended high-risk illiquid securities unsuitable for her clients. Her clients, including widows and retirees, lost their entire principal investments.
These allegations have not been proven. Counsel for the Executive Director will apply to set dates for a hearing into the allegations before a panel of commissioners on January 21, 2014 at 9:00am.
You may view the notice of hearing on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing Roberta Merlin McIntosh, Bert McIntosh, Roberta Sims, Roberta Butcher, Roberta Mayer, or 2013 BCSECCOM 405 in the search box. Information regarding disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website. Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators' Disciplined Persons List for information relating to persons disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA).
About the British Columbia Securities Commission (www.bcsc.bc.ca)
The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:
- A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
- A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital
SOURCE British Columbia Securities Commission