Enforcement and Regulatory Actions
We are New Brunswick’s financial regulatory authority. We believe in a strong and fair financial marketplace for all. We achieve this through regulation, compliance and enforcement. We supervise companies and professionals working in our regulated sectors to ensure they meet standards for knowledge, integrity and business practices.
We regularly conduct compliance reviews on their operations to make sure they are abiding by New Brunswick’s financial and consumer services legislation and meeting their obligations to consumers and investors. Our regulators each have their own team of compliance officers, who receive operational assistance from our Enforcement Division and, where needed, Legal Services staff.
Sometimes, the information we receive from complaints, audits and compliance activities, or from other sources, leads to investigations. During investigations, we have the authority to seek orders to stop certain behaviours and, in some instances, freeze accounts.
These investigations may indicate that people or entities have violated the requirements set out in New Brunswick’s financial and consumer services legislation. If they do, we use our legislated authority to hold the people or entities accountable through the legislated hearing processes or through regulatory remedies. Often, we collaborate with law enforcement and/or other regulators to hold these people or entities accountable. If FCNB believes sanctions or financial penalties are warranted, we have the option to take a case to the Tribunal, which is defined as the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) by the Financial and Consumer Services Commission Act or to the provincial courts, depending on the circumstances.
What activities does FCNB monitor?
Our regulatory activities can include:
- Reviewing new licence and registration applications and renewal applications for suitability
- Reviewing files and business practices
- Reviewing complaints and reports of misconduct
- Reviewing statutory filings
- Conducting compliance reviews and examinations to ensure regulated and licensed individuals and firms are meeting their statutory obligations
- Inspecting trust accounts
- Reviewing disclosure requirements
What regulatory actions can FCNB use?
To ensure regulatory compliance, FCNB may:
- Apply limitations or terms and conditions on the licence or registration
- Suspend or cancel a licence or registration
- Issue a cease trade order
Opportunities to be Heard
Sometimes, FCNB staff may assess an individual or firm as unsuitable for licensing or registration, or determine they are non-compliant with legislation. In either case, staff can make a recommendation to the appropriate FCNB Regulator concerning the licence or registration of the individual or firm. Certain recommendations to the Regulator provide the individual or firm a statutory right to an opportunity to be heard (OTBH) under the following Acts:
- Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act, RSNB 2011, c.126
- Cost of Credit Disclosure and Payday Loans Act, SNB 2002, c. C-28.3
- Direct Sellers Act, RSNB 2011, c.141
- Insurance Act, RSNB 1973, c. I-12
- Loan and Trust Companies Act, SNB 1987, c. L-11.2
- Mortgage Brokers Act, SNB 2014, c.41
- Pre-arranged Funeral Services Act, RSNB 2012, c.109
- Real Estate Agents Act, RSNB 2011, c.215
- Securities Act, SNB 2004, c. S-5.5
An opportunity to be heard is a hearing that provides the individual or firm a chance to understand and respond to the staff recommendation. The person receives a copy of all information considered by the staff member in forming the staff recommendation and is able to provide any additional relevant information before a decision is made on their licence or registration.
If the licence holder chooses to participate in an OTBH, the hearing can occur:
- Through a written submission
- In person
If the individual or firm does not request an OTBH, the Regulator will make a decision on the staff recommendation based on the information presented by staff.
The Regulator will review all information provided before making a decision. The Regulator will then send a written decision on the matter to the individual or firm.
You can search FCNB decisions on our database.
What enforcement tools can FCNB employ?
When investigations indicate that individuals or entities have violated the requirements set out in New Brunswick’s financial and consumer services legislation, FCNB has several enforcement tools it can use to help us in holding the individual or entities responsible for their actions. The tools and actions can range from warnings, undertakings and settlements to a formal hearing process. Under financial and consumer services legislation, the Tribunal can impose:
- administrative penalties
- disgorgement of profits
- bans to operate in one of our regulated sectors
- restrictions on their licences or registration
- cease trade orders
- various other orders.
Note: Prior to June 16, 2023 the Financial and Consumer Services Tribunal heard enforcement matters under financial and consumer services legislation. The Tribunal functions are now within the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB).
We also issue public alerts from time to time to warn New Brunswickers about possible harmful activity in progress. We issue these alerts when we have evidence that someone has violated regulatory provisions in other jurisdictions or when we believe New Brunswickers may be at risk.
You can also review our Caution List to see if we’ve issued an alert on a particular individual or firm.
Transparent Communications of Enforcement and Regulatory Actions
FCNB will issue a news release when it:
- Revokes or suspends a licence.
- Files a statement of allegations or a notice of application with the Tribunal.
- Becomes aware of inappropriate regulatory activity that is of a pressing public interest (for example, an active scam).
Appealing a Decision
In communicating the written decision, the Regulator will provide information on the right to appeal and the process and timelines to appeal.
If you have a complaint under New Brunswick’s financial and consumer protection laws, call us at 1 866 933-2222 or file your complaint online here.