The Canadian Securities Administrators, or CSA, is an umbrella group of provincial/ territorial securities regulators whose objective is to improve, coordinate and harmonize regulation of the Canadian capital markets. Investor protection is a major focus of any undertaking. Each provincial/territorial regulator is responsible for registering individuals and companies seeking to conduct business in the securities sector, for enforcement of the rules and handling complaints from consumers.
Before you engage a securities or mutual fund advisor it’s a good idea to begin by searching their registration history to be assured you are:
- Dealing with someone who is properly licensed or registered to sell the products you are interested in
- Know if the person or firm has a disciplinary history
Check a firm’s or advisor’s registration status
The link to the main CSA website, which has more investor information, including links to each provincial/territorial regulator is: http://www.securities-administrators.ca
You can also find investor information on each regulator’s website. For example, in Ontario, the Ontario Securities Commission has information for investors and makes it easy to check an advisor’s registration.
Check if an advisor is registered in Ontario
The sale and distribution of mutual funds is regulated across Canada by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association, or MFDA. You can go to its website to access dealers and advisors disciplinary history or more general information about what the MFDA does, www.mfda.ca. The MFDA also has a complaint mechanism if you have a complaint that has not been resolved by the advisor or dealer. Before investing, you can check if the firm you are dealing with is a member of the MFDA. All member firms/dealers are listed on the MFDA website.
Some securities firms/dealers and their advisors sell mutual funds as well as other securities products, like stocks and bonds, ETFs, etc. These firms belong to the Investment Industry Regulatory Association of Canada, or IIROC. IIROC is responsible for the regulation of these dealers and their advisors including their market conduct, investor complaints and enforcement. You can check if a dealer is a member of IIROC and if it, or an advisor, has been disciplined. To find out more about IIROC, go to www.iiroc.ca
Québec has one regulator for financial services, including insurance and securities. The AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) enforces the laws and regulations on insurance, securities, deposit institutions (excluding banks) and the distribution of financial products and services. Its website is: www.lautorite.qc.ca
Be an informed investor by learning how mutual funds work, how to avoid scams and fraud, what to do if you have a complaint about your mutual fund dealer, and more. All the information is offered through the website of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.
The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”) published a new brochure entitled Selecting an Advisor which explains important aspects of the advisory process that clients should understand before they select an advisor and invest. Topics covered in the brochure include advisor service levels, compensation structures, and the responsibilities of advisors and clients. Click HERE to look at the brochure.
Ready to take the next step and consider working with a financial advisor? IFB members operate as self-employed independent financial advisors. Why? Because they believe that access to a variety of products is key to finding the most suitable product to meet their client’s financial needs. Click here to search for an independent broker in your area!