After analyzing how various whistleblower programs have been developed and implemented by other organizations, the AMF has decided not to offer financial rewards to those who report violations of Quebec's securities laws.
In particular, the AMF looked at whistleblower incentive programs offered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Ontario Securities Commission, as well as programs offered by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission which do not provide payouts.
Confidentiality above all else
The AMF believes it cannot be established with certainty, based on specific data, that financial incentives generate more quality information from whistleblowers. Instead, the regulator says its research and analysis show that confidentiality is the main motivator for people to report incidents.
"We are convinced that this protection, combined with anti-retaliation measures, as part of a structured, well-publicized program, will have a definite impact on the quantity and quality of wrongdoing reports made to the AMF, without the need for a reward,” says Jean-François Fortin, executive director of enforcement at the AMF. “Our no-rewards approach also corresponds to that adopted by other regulators and organizations around the world and in Quebec that have set up whistleblower lines,” he adds.
In the coming months the AMF intends to promote a whistleblower program that builds on measures that are already in place. The program will improve on the way violations of the laws administered by the AMF are communicated. In particular, the regulators intend to establish a secure channel that whistleblowers can use to provide information.
Tips received this way will be transmitted directly to and processed by a dedicated team that has been trained to properly address issues associated with whistleblowing.