The B.C. Securities Commission has launched a new whistleblower program, with payments ranging from $1,000 to $250,000.
The program, which launched Tuesday (Nov. 7), will be eligible for information provided now that relates to misconduct before Nov. 7. However, information that was provided prior to Nov. 7 will not be eligible.
Commission CEO Brenda Leong said BCSC always encourages people to report suspicious activity and this new whistleblower program adds incentive.
“Often, people who break the law in the investment market or evade our sanctions can’t do it without others noticing.”
The awards will only be given out by the BCSC if the information leads to enforcement action, including: a halt trade order, issuing formal allegations, sanctions after a hearing, a settlement agreement and the identification and location of assets of people who have been ordered to pay financial sanctions.
While the awards will range from $1,000 to $250,000, the exact payment will be determined by several factors: how quickly the information was reported, how much the information contributed to the enforcement outcome and the seriousness of the misconduct. A whistleblower could also receive more than one payment for the same information, but the maximum payout would be capped at $500,000.
The BCSC’s executive director will then determine the amount of the award, if any.
“The more valuable your information is, the more we may pay you,” Leong said.
An online portal has been created to receive tips.
Whistleblowers can submit their own tip or get help from a lawyer. The tips can be anonymous, but in order to receive an award they must reveal their identity to BCSC.