Sun Life Financial Investment Services to pay $1.7M fine in regulator settlement

TORONTO — Sun Life Financial Investment Services in Canada must pay a $1.7 million fine and $100,000 in costs as part of a settlement agreement with the body that regulates Canada’s mutual fund dealers.

In Sun Life’s settlement agreement with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association, the company admits to not having adequate checks and supervision, leading to various practices such as selling mutual funds with back-end fees that, if redeemed early, did not factor in their clients’ age or time horizon, as far back as 2002.

The company also admitted to failing to report client complaints, bankruptcy and other key information to MFDA’s tracking system within the required time frame, between January 2010 and June 2015.

This comes as the Ontario Securities Commission also approved a no-contest settlement agreement with Assante Capital Management Ltd and Assante Financial Management Ltd., resulting in compensation to clients of more than $3.8 million and more than US$15,400.

The settlement follows allegations by staff of the Ontario regulator that there were inadequacies in Assante’s systems of control and supervision, resulting in certain clients paying excess fees that were not detected or corrected in a timely manner.

The OSC says Assante has neither admitted nor denied the accuracy of its staff conclusions, but the company has also made a payment of $140,000 to be used towards the regulator’s mandate of protecting investors, and a further payment of $25,000 to cover investigation costs.

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