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Bulletin #0569-M

Membership Information
Complaint Handling Document Deficiencies

Contact: Sheila Wong

Director, Case Assessment
May 27, 2013

Phone: 416-943-7443


MFDA Bulletin

Membership Information

For Distribution to Relevant Parties within your Firm


On July 5, 2012, MFDA staff issued Bulletin #0534-P Client Disclosure Sweep respecting the
review of Member complaint handling documentation, specifically the Client Complaint
Information Form (“CCIF”) and the Summary of Complaint Handling Procedures (“Summary”),
which are to be provided to clients under MFDA Rule 2.11 and MFDA Policy No. 3 Complaint
Handling, Supervisory Investigations and Internal Discipline.

The purpose of this Bulletin is to communicate common deficiencies identified and to offer
guidance to Members. Members should review their complaint handling documentation in
conjunction with staff findings and comments noted below and, as appropriate, make revisions to
their documents to incorporate guidance provided by staff.


MFDA Policy No. 3 requires Members maintain complaint handling policies and procedures and
provide to clients a summary of these procedures which is clear and can be easily understood.
The Summary must be made generally available to all clients (e.g. on the Member’s website if
they have one) and contain information about how to file a complaint and who clients should
contact in the event of a complaint. Additionally, on April 6, 2010 the MFDA issued a Guide to
Creating a Summary of Member Complaint Handling Procedures,
which can be found on the
Members’ Only section of the MFDA website.
MFDA Policy No. 3 also requires Members to provide clients with a copy of the CCIF, as
approved by MFDA staff. The CCIF was approved by MFDA staff in consultation with a
number of stakeholders, to ensure that it provided sufficient information on all necessary issues.
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The approved CCIF was published on April 10, 2010 and appears on the MFDA website and in
MFDA Staff Notice – 0073 Complaint Handling – MFDA Policy No. 3.
Members must provide the CCIF and the Summary to all clients on account opening. With
respect to complaints that fall under Part II of Policy No. 3, the CCIF and the Summary must
also be provided with the initial response, and the CCIF must be included with the substantive
response to the client.
Staff Findings and Comments

Common CCIF Deficiencies

Staff noted the following deficiencies with some Members’ CCIFs in relation to subsection
24.A.5 of MFDA By-law No. 1:
 Font size was small and difficult to read. Staff wishes to remind Members that the CCIF
must be reproduced in a font size that is easy to read, typically 10-12 point font;
 Section on Legal Assistance was omitted. This section must be included in the CCIF as it
gives clients the information they need to make an informed decision regarding how to
pursue their complaint and draws their attention to the issue of legal limitation periods;
 Section on Securities Commission compensation options was omitted. If your Member is
registered in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan or Québec, it must be included.
If your Member is not registered in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan or Québec
you are permitted to leave this section out. If your Member subsequently becomes
registered in one of these jurisdictions, it must be added back in.

If you have any questions about the CCIF please contact MFDA Enforcement or MFDA
Membership Services.

Common Complaint Handling Procedure Summary Deficiencies

Staff noted the following deficiencies with some Members’ Summaries in relation to MFDA
Policy No. 3:
 Summary not on website or not easily located on website. If a Member maintains a
website, the Summary should be available on the website and easily accessible by a
 Version of Summary provided to MFDA is different from version provided on website.
The Summary provided to new clients and at the time of a client complaint should be the
same version of the Summary that is available online. Staff noted that in several
instances the information available on the website differed significantly. Generally,
MFDA staff found the website version to be less thorough and complete than the
information provided to clients;
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 Summary contained vague contact information for Head Office point of contact. As set
out in MFDA Policy No. 3, the Summary must contain a specific point of initial contact
at Head Office for complaints or information about the Member’s complaint handling
procedures. This contact may be a specific person, a general email inbox or a telephone
number that is continuously monitored. Unacceptable contact information includes name
only (no position) and no contact information (e.g. email, telephone or address) or
position only (no name) and no contact information (e.g. email, telephone or address);
 Summary does not reference the MFDA or the Ombudsman for Banking Services and
Investments (“OBSI”). If the Summary refers back to the CCIF for this information, the
CCIF must be attached to the Summary, including when it is reproduced on the website;
 Summary makes reference to written complaints but not verbal complaints. The
Summary should either make reference to complaints generally, or specifically to both
written and verbal complaints;
 Summary does not reference possible outcomes for complaints. MFDA Policy No. 3
states that the substantive response to clients may include an offer to resolve the
complaint, a denial of the complaint with reasons or another appropriate response;
 Summary does not reference communications that a client will receive throughout the
process. The whole process should be outlined to the client at the outset;
 Summary is missing additional information for Part II complaints. The Summary should
explain that for certain serious complaints the Member will provide an initial response
and a substantive response, and should outline the general timelines for provision of the
 Summary lacks details about what happens after a complaint is submitted. The Summary
should explain how complaints are handled, who they are handled by (i.e. qualified
compliance staff) and the general timelines the Member adheres to when handling
complaints; and
 Summary lacks contact information for what happens if the client is still unsatisfied after
the substantive response is received. Where the client does not accept the Member’s
substantive response, the Member must continue to reasonably respond in a fair and
timely manner as appropriate to further communications regarding the complaint.

If you have any questions about the Summary please contact MFDA Enforcement.

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