Making a Complaint about a Credential Holder

CSI takes complaints against its credential holders seriously. We respond to all consumer complaints by investigating the issue and determining whether a credential holder violated their code of conduct. If they have, CSI will act and provide enforcement action up to removing the credential from the holder.

We also recognize that there are other organizations that may be better able to assist you in obtaining the outcome you are looking for. Before reaching out to CSI, we recommend that you explore the pathways to resolving your complaint.

Resolving your Complaint

Depending on the outcome you are seeking for your complaint, it may be helpful to submit your complaint with additional organizations. The below steps are recommended to help resolve your complaint:

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Step 1: Speak with the Credential Holder

The Credential Holder can support in resolving the complaint directly with you. It is recommended that you reach out and discuss your possible options as an initial step.

Step 2: Contact Their Employer

Make your complaint to the employer or firm your credential holder is with, if the credential holder does not provide a suitable response. They may be able to resolve the issue directly and provide outcomes that meet your needs. Banks and Credit Unions have regulatory obligations to respond to your complaint and support their resolution.

Step 3: Search Alternatives for Escalation

There are several organizations that may be able to assist you in your complaint, if the credential holder and employer do not resolve your issues.

  1. Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (“OBSI”): If your credential holder is part of a participating employer, OBSI may be able to assist in helping to resolve an issue when the employer has provided an unsatisfactory response or is not responding by regulatory deadlines. Notifying the appropriate regulatory body for possible further investigation
  2. ADR Chambers Banking Ombuds Office: ADR Chambers is limited to investigating complaints and recommending compensation in cases involving an act or omission by participating banks. If your complaint relates to the banking sector, they may be able to assist.
  3. Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization
    • Investment Firms: If you believe your advisor or firm has broken CIRO rules, or that trading on a Canadian marketplace is contrary to CIRO rules, CIRO may be able to assist in resolving your complaint.
    • Mutual Funds: If your complaint relates to a Mutual Fund Dealer Representative, and they have violated CIRO rules, CIRO may be able to assist in resolving your complaint.
  4. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada “FCAC”: FCAC investigates complaints about federally regulated financial institutions that relate to possible breaches of market conduct obligations. This can be a breach of a law, regulation, code of conduct or public commitment. Any consumer can file a complaint about a federally regulated financial institution with FCAC at no cost. Keep in mind that FCAC doesn’t resolve individual disputes and doesn’t provide redress or compensation.
  5. Provincial Securities regulators: Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Quebec have the ability to investigate and make orders against persons that violate securities regulations. If the complaint falls within these provinces, the provincial regulator may be able to help resolve your complaint.

Step 4: Review CSI Complaint Outcomes

Before making a complaint to CSI, please review the possible outcomes for your complaint and state your expectation for resolution in our complaints form.

CSI Complaint Outcomes

CSI has several possible outcomes from an investigation. If it is found that a credential holder has violated their code of ethics, then CSI may:

  • A written reprimand from CSI
  • Notifying the appropriate regulatory body for possible further investigation
  • Recording the violation in the holder’s CSI records (in the case of a suspension, the suspension is automatically recorded on the holder’s record which includes the CSI transcript.)
  • Requiring the holder to complete a supplementary ethics or professional development course(s)
  • Suspending the holder’s designation and use of any related Certification Mark:
    • For a specified period; or
    • indefinitely, specifying conditions for reinstatement; or
    • permanently (If a designation is suspended the holder will be required to discontinue use of the designation and remove any references to holding the designation from business or marketing materials and will return current letters of certification to CSI).
  • Publicizing the violation on the CSI website and/or elsewhere
  • Notify the holder’s employer and/or professional or designation granting organization of the violation

We are not able to provide any outcome that includes fines or financial compensation for losses.

Step 5: File Your Complaint with CSI

Tips for filing your Complaint:

Tip 1: Gather your facts.

Think about the problem and the result that you want. Write down the main points in the order that they occurred. Note the name of the firm, the accounts and products involved, who you dealt with, key dates and the circumstances surrounding the issue. Put together a file of any supporting documents. Include copies of application forms, statements, transaction confirmations, cancelled cheques and all relevant correspondence to and from the firm. Never send the originals of any documents in case they get lost.

Tip 2: Put it in writing.

If possible, it’s best to make your complaint in writing. Make sure you include your complete address and a phone number or e-mail address where you can be reached.

Tip 3: Document your actions.

Document all the steps you take to resolve your complaint. Put together a file of relevant documents like application forms, agreements and account statements. Keep copies of letters, faxes, e-mails and notes of conversations.

Tip 4: Act quickly.

It’s important to file your complaint right away and to respond quickly to any requests for more information.

Tip 5: Be Clear.

When making a complaint to an CIRO Member dealer, be clear about whom you are complaining about, what you are complaining about, and when things went wrong. It is also helpful to state the outcome you are seeking, such as an apology or getting your account corrected.