March 25, 2022 – 7:30 AM
A B.C. financial advisor complained he could no longer afford to eat in the best restaurants or drive the flashiest cars since losing his financial services licence.
According to a Mar. 21 B.C. Securities Commission decision, Robert Waters had a hearing to try getting the licence back and failed badly. He was fined $20,000 and banned from trading securities in 2014 for selling more than $300,000 in shares without being registered.
After not paying a penny of the $20,000 fine, Waters recently applied to have the sanctions dropped so he could get his trading licence back.
“I’ve had some of the best addresses in Vancouver, driven some of the best cars, enjoyed the best restaurants, and for years had a recreational residence at Whistler,” Waters told the commission. “I’ve also had the benefit of travelling widely. But as of September 4, 2014, with my B.C. Securities Commission (sanctions)… this ended.”
The B.C. Securities Commission didn’t appreciate his application.
“We note that (Waters) submissions demonstrate a continued effort to blame others for his misconduct,” the Commission said in the decision. “That unwillingness to accept responsibility for his actions gives us no confidence that an early return to his participation in investor relations activities would be in the public interest.”
According to the decision, Waters submitted no reasonable evidence of why he should get his licence back.
“The submissions of (Waters) go into considerable detail in describing his life history. (But) there is nothing in his history which is relevant to this application,” the decision said.
Waters did, however, complain his only income is $1,669 from Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan, although the Commission says he hasn’t proved he doesn’t have any other bank accounts or any other assets.
The Commission didn’t buy the sob story and points out that Waters’ financial situation is a result of his own misconduct.
According to the decision, Waters was licenced from 1983 to 1998 before being fined in 2014 for working without being registered.
He was found to have sold shares of Berkeley Coffee and Tea Inc. to 45 investors for total proceeds of $312,977 without being registered and without having filed a prospectus.
The Securities Commission called it “serious misconduct” and noted that he’d failed to take responsibility for his actions or express any remorse.
He was banned for six years, but the ban would continue if the fine wasn’t paid off.
Waters was also instructed to complete a Financing, Governance and Compliance course, which he did, although not until seven years after he’d been told to.
In his application to get his licence back, Waters said he’d sent out hundreds of resumes but had only two job interviews and he’s been living “frugally” month to month as he’s unemployed.
Waters offered $100 to pay his fine but says if he got a financial services job, he could pay $2,000 a month.
The Commission still wasn’t impressed.
“Finally, we are influenced by the fact that (Waters) has made no payment towards the administrative penalty,” the Commission said.
“It seems likely that, at the time the sanctions… (were) issued, (Waters) still had assets with which he could have paid all or some of the administrative penalty. He provided no explanation as to why no amounts have been paid,” the decision says.
With that, the Securities Commission said it would be prejudicial to the public interest to allow Waters to work in the industry.
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