OSC should think twice about accepting SEC-style deals

Ontario Securities Commission chairman Howard Wetston says he wants more U.S.-style enforcement out of his regulators. At first blush, it sounds like a fine idea. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has admirable regulatory vigour by Canadian standards.

But one of Mr. Wetston’s specific suggestions is a greater use of settlements in which the defendants need not admit any of the allegations against them. The SEC’s language in nearly all settlements is that defendants “neither admit nor deny” the charges, a mushy “out” clause that can cause more problems than it solves.

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