The Autorité des marchés financiers (the “AMF”) on Monday launched its whistleblower program, intended to better protect individuals who report wrongdoing and enable the AMF to gather information on offences committed under the laws and regulations it administers.
“Individuals who want to give us certain information but have hesitated for fear of reprisals can now turn to the AMF’s Whistleblower Program. We invite them to use our secure whistleblower channel, which ensures that the information we receive is handled thoroughly and confidentially. Our specialized team is ready to guide whistleblowers throughout the process and ensure extra protection in the course of ensuing investigations and legal proceedings,” said Louis Morisset, AMF President and CEO. “Thanks to these whistleblowers, who without protection measures would not have come forward, we will be able to identify more offences, intervene earlier and minimize the repercussions on victims.”
Under the program, whistleblowers benefit from informer privilege as soon as a wrongdoing is reported. Investigators are trained specifically to respond to the issues faced by whistleblowers and make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of the information and the documents received, as well as the whistleblower’s identity.
The AMF Whistleblower Program also contains measures to protect whistleblowers against reprisal, such as immunity from possible civil suits as a result of their reporting of wrongdoing. To strengthen the program’s effectiveness, the AMF intends to work with the Québec government to propose additional anti-reprisal measures in financial sector legislation.
As announced last February, the AMF will not offer rewards to whistleblowers. Further to a review of various whistleblower programs around the world, including in the United Kingdom and Australia, the AMF concluded that it cannot be established with certainty that financial incentives generate more quality reporting of wrongdoing, and that the key component of any whistleblower program is in fact the protection offered to whistleblowers.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector. – CNW Telbec