Cornwall financial advisor faces settlement hearing

In this January 2021, file photo, the sign outside the RBC branch on Pitt Street in Cornwall, Ont. A local financial advisor will face a settlement hearing next month over allegations he signed two documents on a client's behalf in 2019. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A local financial advisor will face a settlement hearing before the regulatory body that oversees mutual funds in Canada over forms and signatures.

Benjamin Stewart faces allegations he completed two account forms without telling the client about them, signed the client’s signature on the forms and then submitted them for processing.

The actions are said to have happened on Jan. 22, 2019.

Stewart is a personal financial planner (PFP) with the Royal Bank of Canada in Cornwall and has been in that position since April 2017, according to his LinkedIn account.

The settlement hearing before the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada is scheduled to be heard electronically on March 10 at 10 a.m.

A settlement hearing sees the accused present an admission of misconduct and a proposed penalty to the three-person hearing panel and it decides whether to accept it.

Penalties can range from fines to suspension to reeducation training.

An MFDA 2019 enforcement report around “signature cases” shows “most” of the cases where client signatures were falsified were not the result of a complaint by a customer and generally were never meant to “harm the client” or cause them financial harm. They were done “for the purposes of client or advisor convenience.”

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