What should I do if a problem arises with my dealer or adviser?

March 5, 2009

An investor who has a concern or complaint about their adviser should take the following steps:

  • Contact the adviser directly – be sure to make detailed notes of any conversations.
      If there has been a miscommunication or administrative error, it may be easily fixed.
  • Write to the branch manager with a copy to the firm’s compliance officer.
      If you are unable to resolve the issue with your adviser, or are not comfortable raising the issue, you should contact the branch manager or compliance officer to see what may be done. You may also take your concerns to your adviser’s self-regulatory organization (SRO) such as the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) or the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA). Complainants may also address complaints to the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). Contact the provincial or territorial securities regulator in writing.
  • If you are still unsatisfied, contact the Nova Scotia Securities Commission with your concern. To make a complaint you may:
  1. download a Complaint Form or Printer-friendly Complaint Form and fax to (902) 424-3538
  2. Mail a completed Complaint Form to:
    Compliance and Enforcement
    Nova Scotia Securities Commission
    PO Box 451
    Halifax, NS B3J 2P8
  3. Visit us in person at:
    1809 Barrington Street
    Suite 501
    Halifax, NS B3J 3K8, or
    Telephone: (902) 424-4558
  • Finally, note that securities regulators cannot get investors’ money back. Instead, investors should contact a lawyer and they have the option of going to small claims court or proceeding to civil court or an arbitration program.

In some cases, the problem may be nothing more than an administrative error. In other cases, the problem can be much more serious.