Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada Client Complaint Information Form
Clients of a mutual fund dealer who are not satisfied with a financial product or service have a right to make a complaint and to seek resolution of the problem. MFDA Member dealers have a responsibility to their clients to ensure that all complaints are dealt with fairly and promptly. If you have a complaint, these are some of the steps you can take:
- Contact your mutual fund dealer. Member firms are responsible to you, the investor, for monitoring the actions of their representatives to ensure that they are in compliance with by-laws, rules and policies governing their activities. The firm will investigate any complaint that you initiate and respond back to you with the results of their investigation within the time period expected of a Member acting diligently in the circumstances, in most cases within three months of receipt of the complaint. It is helpful if your complaint is in writing.
- Contact the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”), which is the self-regulatory organization in Canada to which your mutual fund dealer belongs. The MFDA investigates complaints about mutual fund dealers and their representatives, and takes enforcement action where appropriate. You may make a complaint to the MFDA at any time, whether or not you have complained to your mutual fund dealer. The MFDA can be contacted:
The MFDA does not order compensation or restitution to clients of Members. The MFDA exists to regulate the operations, standards of practice and business conduct of its Members and their representatives with a mandate to enhance investor protection and strengthen public confidence in the Canadian mutual fund industry. If you are seeking compensation, you may consider the following:
- Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (“OBSI”): After the dealer’s Compliance Department has responded to your complaint, you may contact OBSI. You may also contact OBSI if the dealer’s Compliance Department has not responded within 90 days of the date you complained. OBSI provides an independent and impartial process for the investigation and resolution of complaints about the provision of financial services to clients. OBSI can make a non-binding recommendation that your firm compensate you (up to $350,000) if it determines that you have been treated unfairly, taking into account the criteria of good financial services and business practice, relevant codes of practice or conduct, industry regulation and the law. The OBSI process is free of charge and is confidential. OBSI can be contacted:
- By telephone in Toronto at (416) 287-2877, or toll free at 1-888-451-4519
- By e-mail at email@example.com
- Legal Assistance: You may consider retaining a lawyer to assist with the complaint. You should be aware that there are legal time limits for taking civil action. A lawyer can advise you of your options and recourses. Once the applicable limitation period expires, you may lose rights to pursue some claims.
- Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan: Securities regulatory authorities in these provinces have the power to, in appropriate cases, order that a person or company that has contravened securities laws in their province pay compensation to a claimant. The claimant is then able to enforce such an order as if it were a judgment of the superior court in that province. For more information, please visit:
- Manitoba: www.msc.gov.mb.ca
- New Brunswick: www.nbsc-cvmnb.ca
- Saskatchewan: www.sfsc.gov.sk.ca
- Québec: The Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) pays indemnities to victims of fraud, fraudulent tactics or embezzlement where those responsible are individuals or firms authorized to practice under the legislation governing the provision of financial services in Quebec. It also rules on the eligibility of claims and sets the amount of the indemnities to be paid to victims. Consumers can thus be compensated to a maximum of $200,000 per claim, through funds accumulated in a financial services compensation fund. For more information, please visit www.lautorite.qc.ca.
Equity Associates Inc., Complaint Handling Process
At Equity Associates Inc. we take all customer issues seriously and are committed to finding fair and reasonable solutions. We have procedures in place to handle any written or verbal complaints received from clients in a fair and prompt manner. This is a summary of those procedures, which we provide to new clients.
Clients wishing to complain to Equity Associates Inc., may make their complaint to our head office by contacting the Chief Compliance Officer. All complaints are forwarded to qualified compliance or supervisory personnel to be handled. We encourage clients to make their complaint in writing or by email where possible. You may raise your concerns to us either verbally or in writing, however, depending on the nature of the complaint we may require written statements. Where clients have difficulty putting their complaint in writing, they should advise us so that we can provide assistance. For confidentiality reasons, we will only deal with the client or another individual who has the client’s express written authorization to deal with us. Upon receipt of your complaint we send you an acknowledgement letter within 5 days as well as a copy of the this summary and the Client Complaint Information Form,. This letter confirms your complaint is being review and who you may contact during the review process. We will thoroughly review your concerns which will include a review of your account holdings and any other relevant source and the recommendations made to you by the sales associate. A written response will be sent to you within 90 days. Our response may be an offer to resolve your complaint, a denial of the complaint with reasons or another appropriate response. Our response will summarize your complaint, our findings and will contain a reminder about your options with the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments.
Clients may contact us at any time to provide further information or to inquire as to the status of their complaint, by contacting the individual handling their complaint or by contacting the Chief Compliance Officer.
Should you have any concerns please send your correspondence to:
Attention: Chief Compliance Officer
Equity Associates Inc.
10761 Woodbine Ave, Suite 204
Markham, Ontario L6C 1J3