If you believe that an individual or firm has violated securities laws, acted fraudulently or otherwise improperly, you should report it to your local securities regulator.
Matters of wrongdoing may include:
- unregistered people or businesses offering you investment products;
- a person or business that is defrauding investors or illegally issuing securities; or
- a person or business who offers you confidential information or “insider” tips.
It is important that you report people or businesses that may have broken the law to the securities regulator in your province or territory. Securities regulators can investigate potential wrongdoing and impose sanctions on individuals and firms that violate securities laws.
Reporting wrongdoing enables regulators to take action. Depending on the nature of the issue, you may be referred to a regulator that oversees a specific part of the securities market (such as mutual funds), an ombudsman or to a law enforcement agency.
When you report an issue, you may be asked to provide additional information or be interviewed by regulators about the issue. Consider keeping a file of relevant documents, such as application forms, agreements, account statements, copies of cheques, contracts, letters, faxes, e-mails and notes of conversations.
Regulators may work with law enforcement if criminal activity, such as fraud, is suspected. However, regulators normally do not recover money for investors and cannot:
- provide legal advice;
- undo a transaction;
- comment on an ongoing investigation; or
- make a complaint on your behalf.
If you need assistance navigating the complaint process, contact your local securities regulator.
Getting your money back
If you have a dispute about a registered person or business that may have acted inappropriately (for example, by recommending investments that are unsuitable for you based on the information you gave them) and you have lost money that you wish to get back, you can submit a complaint to the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). OBSI is a free and independent service for resolving banking and investment disputes between participating firms and their clients and can recommend compensation of up to $350,000. For information on how to make a complaint to OBSI, see the process to get your money back.