Authentication of the signatories and validation of the adviser’s right to practice is one thing, but the challenge is also to ensure the durability of the signature, believes François Laporte, financial security advisor, author of the book Bureau sans border. Adept of the paperless office, Mr. Laporte wonders about the quality of the signatures. “Will they be readable in five years? ”
The virtual signature may be, but standards and terminology are not uniform in the industry, he notes. “An advisor like me who works with multiple vendors has to go through 22 different processes! Until we all speak the same language, there will be a problem. The signature of iGeny seems impeccable to me because its signature is unalterable. Diversico imposes it on the companies with which it deals. But the advisor has to go through the iGeny system to get it, “says Laporte.
Insurers to develop the capacity
To sign a change of beneficiary, Laporte often says he uses the RightSignature provider as part of Citrix Systems’ online meeting service GoToMeeting. RightSignature costs $ 18 per month and works for documents in PDF, Word, and Excel. The signature includes the time of the signature and the IP address thereof.
Banks in the hot seat
In June 2017, CBC News reported to an anonymous CIBC representative that 85% of the sales force at its former subsidiary had tampered with the documents, including due to the signature forgery or collect money. According to this anonymous information, the practice will take place at other bank branches.
Decisions made by the House Financial Security Discipline Committee against counsel for partially signing a blank form or signing it as a witness in the absence of a client abound. When done without ill intent other than accommodating the client and wasting time, these breaches of counsel’s Code of Conduct are usually accompanied by short write-offs and modest fines.
CIBC’s case and disciplinary decisions involve Claude Charpentier, president of Notarius. These elements give him the impression that the concept of signature and document integrity is vaporous, and that the rules are routinely bypassed. He recalls that there is a technology that allows the advisor to sign and have his client sign remotely, in full compliance.
“Either the current rules have not adapted, or the technological means are not deployed, or not available. This encourages people to circumvent the rules. Why travel 20 kilometers to sign a document, if there is a way to do otherwise? “