Step 4: Other options


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Who you contact will depend on what you want to achieve.

If you cannot resolve the matters directly with the company, you have the following options:
a) report a wrongdoing to the appropriate regulator
b) pursue financial compensation if you are looking to get your money back.

Reporting a Suspected Wrongdoing
Regulators investigate possible violations of securities law and can order reprimands, penalties, suspensions and/or removal from the securities industry. Regulators may work with police if criminal activity, such as fraud, is suspected. Regulators normally do not recover money for investors and cannot provide legal advice. 

If you think an individual or company has broken securities laws, you should contact the appropriate regulator. 

Along with the NBSC, below are some regulators who may be able to assist you:

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)
IIROC regulates investment dealers and their approved advisers and trading on equity market places (lilke the TSX). IIROC sets and enforces rules regarding the qualification and conduct of investment firms and their registered employees. IIROC can investigate complaints and take disciplinary action. The IIROC website provides information about its service and has a list of its members:

Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA)
The MFDA regulates the actions of mutual fund dealers and their salespeople. In most provinces, mutual fund dealers are required to be a member of the MFDA. The MFDA will investigate complaints made against its members and/or their approved persons, conducts investigations, and imposes disciplinary penalties where there have been breaches of the MFDA’s By-laws, Rules or Policies. The MFDA website provides further information about its services and has a list of its members:

New Brunswick Securities Commission
As the provincial securities regulator, we protect investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices. If your complaint has not been resolved by dealing with the company directly, or one of the regulators listed above, complete the online complaint form or call us and we will review your complaint for a possible violation of securities law. All complaints received will be dealt with in a fair and timely manner.

The Commission has the authority to impose sanctions on individuals and companies that break New Brunswick securities laws. Sanctions may include reprimands, financial penalties, suspensions or removal from the securities industry.

Click here to find out more about what we can and cannot do. 

Pursue Financial Compensation
If you are looking to get your money back, there may be options available to you. For example: 

Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI)
OBSI is a free, independent service in Canada for resolving banking services and investment disputes. Before bringing your case to OBSI, you must provide the company an opportunity to respond to your complaint first. If that does not resolve your concerns or the company has not provided its final response to you within 90 calendar days, you can bring your concern to OBSI for an impartial and informal review. 

You have up to 180 days after receiving the company’s response to get in touch with OBSI. OBSI can recommend compensation of up to $350,000. The OBSI website provides information about their services and has a list of participating firms:

IIROC Arbitration
An independent arbitrator guides the proceedings, reviews the arguments of each party and arrives at a binding decision. This can include an award of up to $500,000 plus interest and costs. Arbitration decisions are final, and for this reason, parties often retain legal counsel. The IIROC website provides information about this service and has a list of their members:

Legal Advice
A lawyer can advise you whether you should go to court to try and get your money back. Each province and territory has a time limit for taking legal action, so you should always act as soon as you discover your loss.

New Brunswick Securities Commission
Under the Securities Act, the NBSC has the authority to make orders which may assist victims in recovering money lost as a result of a violation of securities:

A Compensation Order obligates a person who has violated securities laws to return money to an investor. Once such an order is issued, it can be filed with the Court of Queen’s Bench and then becomes a judgment of that Court. A Compensation Order is essentially a process to obtain a court judgment without the costs and delay of having to pursue a claim through the courts.

Compensation Orders can only be sought by an investor if the NBSC has begun proceedings. Investors should be aware that a Compensation Order does not mean that money will actually be paid. Like a judgment, collection of the money is still up to the investor

A Disgorgement Order requires a person or firm to surrender money obtained as a result of breaking securities law. A disgorgement order will not automatically result in money being returned to investors. This will only be the case if the person or firm complies with the order. This is not always the case, especially if the money has been moved off shore, has been spent or the debtor has no assets. If the NBSC does receive money as a result of a disgorgement order it will attempt to return it to investors who have suffered a related loss. In such a case, the NBSC will contact the investors directly (if known) or advertise and invite investors to submit a claim.