The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”) is the self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) for mutual fund dealers in Canada. The MFDA protects investors through the enforcement of the MFDA’s By-laws, Rules and Polices.
If you have a complaint about the actions of an advisor or a Member of the MFDA first contact your Mutual Fund Dealer. The Member will investigate any complaint that you initiate and respond back to you with the results of their investigation in a timely manner, usually within three months of receipt of the complaint.
You can also make a complaint to the MFDA, preferably in writing. You can complain electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org using the complaint form available on our website or call MFDA complaints at 416-361-6332 (Option #1) or toll-free at 1-888-466-6332 (Option #1). Visit How to Make a Complaint to the MFDA for more detailed information about how to file a complaint. The Enforcement Department of the MFDA reviews complaints to determine if there are sufficient grounds to warrant regulatory action. Any action taken by the MFDA will not include an order that you be compensated for any financial losses you may have suffered. Additionally, we are unable to assist clients in civil claims. If you wish to pursue litigation you should retain a lawyer. In addition to providing advice about your options, a lawyer can advise as to legal time limits for taking civil action.
The MFDA Enforcement Department assesses complaints made against our Member (mutual fund dealer companies) firms and/or their sales persons (known as advisors), conducts investigations, and imposes disciplinary penalties where there have been breaches of the MFDA’s By-laws, Rules or Policies. The Enforcement Department is organized into three main groups: Case Assessment, Investigations and Litigation.
The Case Assessment group reviews and assess cases as received. The Case Assessment group escalates cases to Investigations where there are grounds to believe that there has been a substantial breach of MFDA requirements, or where the matter is sufficiently complex to require a more extensive review by an investigator. Investigations conducts in-depth investigation of cases, which includes gathering documentation, conducting interviews, analyzing cases and preparing reports and recommendations. Legal Counsel in the Litigation group act as MFDA counsel in disciplinary hearings of Members and advisors before Regional Councils.
Check an Advisor
Members of the public can learn more about the tools available to check the registration, activities and disciplinary records of an advisor by visiting: Check an Advisor.
OBSI provides an independent, free service for resolving investment disputes between participating banking services and investment firms and their clients, if they cannot solve them on their own. 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. All clients of MFDA Members can participate in the OBSI dispute resolution process. Please note that OBSI will likely require you to first file a complaint with the MFDA Member involved. Please also be aware that, where you receive a written response to your complaint by the MFDA Member involved, OBSI may have to refuse to investigate your complaint if you do not file it with OBSI within 180 calendar days of receiving that response. A list of MFDA Members is available here.
MFDA Investor Protection Corporation
The MFDA Investor Protection Corporation (IPC) provides protection on a discretionary basis for eligible clients of insolvent MFDA member firms. Each claim is considered according to the policies adopted by the Board of Directors of the MFDA IPC. IPC does not cover customers’ losses that result from changing market values, unsuitable investments, or the default of an issuer of a mutual fund. The coverage provided is limited to $1,000,000 per client account. Visit MFDA Investor Protection Corporation for more information and frequently asked questions.
The Canadian Securities Administrators’ CSA Investor Tools provides useful information to help investors learn about how to protect their money and be a responsible investor. The Canadian Securities Administrators also maintains a Cease Trade Order Database which are orders issued by provincial or territorial securities regulatory authorities or similar regulatory body against a company or an individual. You may also wish to review the CSA Activity Report, which reflects Canada-wide enforcement activities.
The Ontario Securities Commission provides investor warnings about individuals and companies that appear to be engaging in activities that may pose a risk to investors through “investor alerts” and an investor “warning list”. The alerts and list can be accessed by clicking on the following link: Investor Warnings.