We encourage tips and complaints about market misconduct to help us enforce our laws. We often receive personal information from investors about individuals and companies, including their private correspondence and financial information.
We may obtain information about you from third parties without your knowledge or consent.
We collect personal information during an investigation to gather evidence and confirm facts. The Securities Act allows us to order you to provide information and records if you are involved in securities trading or related activities.
Our investigators may obtain an order under the Securities Act that permits them to collect a variety of personal information. This may include information about your trading, investments, finances, loans, and relationships. You must comply with these requests for information and there are penalties for failing to cooperate with an investigation. Legal counsel may represent you to protect your interests.
We collect your personal information for purposes authorized by or under the Securities Act and other legislation and for law enforcement.
We will not disclose your information to other organizations without your knowledge and written consent, except in limited cases where we have the legal authority or obligation to do so.
We may release your information, including disclosing information to collect debts and fines owed to the BCSC.
We may share your information with other law enforcement agencies, government agencies, and financial regulators, without your knowledge or consent. These agencies are generally subject to similar requirements to safeguard your information.
If we collect your personal information in an investigation:
- We will normally keep it confidential, although we have the discretion to release it if it is in the public interest to do so. Generally, we will not release it to a third party through a freedom of information request without your consent, although the Information and Privacy Commissioner may look at this information when conducting a review, inquiry, or audit.
- We will disclose it to the respondent in a hearing if it is potentially relevant to the case. This allows them to prepare their case.
- We will release it to the B.C. Ombudsman with your consent or with the consent of the law enforcement agency that provided the information to us.
- It becomes public if disclosed in a public hearing. We do not publish hearing exhibits, transcripts, and submissions to protect your personal information from serious misuse. These documents are available for public inspection at our offices.
We may share your information with our suppliers and contractors. Our service providers are contractually required to keep your information confidential.
We will release information to comply with a court order.
People may request your personal information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. We will not release your personal information without your written consent if doing so would represent an unreasonable invasion of your personal privacy or be harmful to your business interests.
The Securities Act allows us to request information and records about you from exchanges, quotation and trade reporting systems, self-regulatory bodies, and registered dealers, underwriters, and advisers. We request information from these bodies to gather facts and evidence for investigations and to review their business and conduct.
As a law enforcement agency, we have access to restricted data that may contain information about you, such as a criminal record. We have agreements with the agencies that maintain this data that limit our use to legitimate law enforcement purposes. We restrict access to authorized personnel.
We have information sharing arrangements with other government agencies. We conduct joint investigations with other securities regulators, government agencies, and the police. We request information from foreign countries through informal arrangements and through formal procedures outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding.