Bar graph representing five fiscal years (fiscal years 2018 to 2022) showing a consistent increase in annual tips received.  To the right of the bar graph are three rectangular boxes. The text in the first box reads: “Tips in 2022 up 89% from 2018”. The text in the second box reads: “797 total tips”. The text in the third box reads: “17% average annual growth”.

Replace on the OSC Whistleblower Program 2016 to 2022

As of March 31, 2022, the Program obtained 797 suggestions from greater than 840 whistleblowers. The overwhelming majority (93%) of suggestions had been obtained by means of the OWB’s on-line portal, a most popular submission technique which permits the OSC to course of info extra rapidly.

Along with the general variety of suggestions, there are numerous different metrics the OWB has used to gauge the success of the Program.

1. The expansion in suggestions

As a brand new initiative, one of many priorities of the OWB has been to develop the general public’s consciousness of the existence and the function of the Program and improve the profile of the Program. The Program skilled a mean annual improve in suggestions of 17%, starting as of the primary accomplished fiscal 12 months in 2018. Relative to our first fiscal 12 months, the Program generated 89% extra suggestions in 2022. These numbers point out that promotional and different outreach efforts yielded optimistic outcomes and reveal that there are whistleblowers who’re keen to return ahead as they turn into conscious of our Program.


We don’t anticipate whistleblowers to be consultants in securities regulation. We encourage whistleblowers to submit tips about suspected misconduct, which our colleagues within the Enforcement Department can then assess and examine for potential breaches.

2. Sorts of alleged securities misconduct

The Program was launched with a view to uncovering advanced or hard-to-detect misconduct. In such circumstances, our Enforcement groups profit from the involvement of whistleblowers who contribute specialised experience, data of personal info, or each. Sure forms of misconduct are usually extra advanced or hard-to-detect than others. Amongst these, the numbers present that the Program has efficiently attracted suggestions associated to deceptive company disclosure and/or monetary statements and fraud.


A pie chart showing the breakdown of tips by securities misconduct type. The breakdown is:  28% misleading corporate disclosure and/or financial statements, 21% fraud, 15% illegal distribution and/or unregistered trading, 14% registrant misconduct, 9% illegal insider trading and/or tipping, 4% market manipulation, and 9% other.

However there’s additionally room for progress. Particularly, we wish to see extra suggestions associated to market manipulation and unlawful insider buying and selling. We additionally noticed that, apart from suggestions associated to crypto, whistleblower suggestions typically lagged behind in reporting novel and rising points in response to which the OSC could want to ship well timed regulatory messages. Present examples of problems with curiosity embody greenwashing, improper tied promoting, misuse of algorithms and synthetic intelligence, and misconduct by public accounting corporations that conduct audits of Ontario reporting issuers.

3. Sorts of topics recognized by whistleblowers

Whereas the OSC has a broad attain, it is vital for us to obtain recommendations on core regulated entities and people. Of the securities associated suggestions we obtained, 50% named public corporations and 33% named registrants.

4. The various profiles of whistleblowers

Whistleblowers can contribute in some ways, and in that sense, there isn’t any “typical” whistleblower. It’s true that whistleblowers usually have some function with the topic entity they report about, reminiscent of that of an worker or advisor. Their function might afford the whistleblower entry to personal info or a greater understanding of that entity’s actions. Certainly, a lot of our securities associated suggestions had been from whistleblowers who indicated having some function and we’d welcome much more.

Nonetheless, whistleblowers needn’t have any function in any respect. The truth is, such whistleblowers had been behind the vast majority of the securities associated suggestions obtained. Their submissions can draw upon specialised experience or expertise to offer insights or evaluation not obvious on the face of publicly out there info. Examples of such whistleblowers embody business analysts, consultants reminiscent of forensic accountants and geologists, {and professional} and retail traders.

5. The geographic attain of the Program

Roughly 63% of suggestions originated from Ontario with one other 17% coming from the remainder of Canada. The following largest sources of suggestions (totalling 15%) had been the U.S., Australia, the U.Okay., and China, however suggestions had been obtained from 30 international locations around the globe, highlighting the worldwide attain of the Program.


A map of the world representing where the OSC Whistleblower Program has received tips from: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

The Program welcomes suggestions from people no matter the place they dwell. People exterior of Ontario, or exterior of Canada, could have info associated to misconduct linked to Ontario given the worldwide interconnectedness of the capital markets. Because of this, the OWB will contemplate methods to attraction to whistleblowers exterior of Ontario, together with doubtlessly by higher diversifying our outreach efforts throughout borders. Whistleblowers who report back to the OSC might also report their issues to different regulators.

A Notice About Inner Whistleblowers

The Program is designed to enhance – not compete with – inside reporting channels. Protections from reprisals prolong to those that report internally to their employer, not simply to those that report back to us, to a acknowledged self-regulatory group or to regulation enforcement. The Coverage additionally goals to remove the influence of timing when a whistleblower stories internally first. For award dedication functions, the OSC will contemplate the timing of the inner report in figuring out whether or not a submission was made on a well timed foundation and, if a number of suggestions had been obtained from totally different whistleblowers, which whistleblower reported first. And furthermore, awards could also be bigger when whistleblowers make use of obtainable inside reporting avenues.

Our evaluation reveals whistleblowers do report internally. Of these whistleblowers who described themselves as present or former staff, or as holding different inside roles, 63% reported their issues to the entity earlier than reporting below the Program. However 84% of these whistleblowers didn’t consider, or weren’t positive, that any steps had been taken to handle their issues. This means that market individuals and others could profit from bettering how they impart with whistleblowers to maintain them engaged within the inside compliance course of.

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