Last March, it was announced that the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) had embarked on a joint initiative to co-ordinate the requirements for complaint reporting. In May, the AMF and the FSCO held information meetings in Québec City, Montréal and Toronto respectively. We would like to remind you of the following.
Financial products and services companies
COLLECTING COMPLAINT DATA: IT'S A GO!
Since July 1, 2005, financial products and services companies governed by the AMF are required to begin collecting complaint data in accordance with the new criterias.
The following are required to meet these new obligations:
- trust companies and financial services cooperatives;
- securities dealers and advisers;
- firms, independent partnerships and independent representatives.
These entities are required to report complaint data to the regulator twice a year for the following periods:
- July 1 to December 31;
- January 1 to June 30.
The reports must be filed no later than 30 days following the end of each period. However, a transition period has been set aside, and companies are not required to collect data or forward them to the AMF for the period from January 1 to June 30, 2005.
FOR EACH COMPLAINT, WHAT INFORMATION IS REQUIRED TO BE REPORTED?
- Company complaint reference number;
- Line of business;
- Complaint category;
- Dates complaint file was open and closed;
- Client Postal Code;
- Disposition of the complaint;
- Did complaint result in a lawsuit?;
- Was complaint transferred to the AMF?.
AMF and FSCO planned to ask companies to answer the following two additional questions:
- Does complaint have a broader impact or systemic application?
- Is the subject matter of the complaint addressed by company policies and procedures?
Many companies felt that they would not be in a position to report this type of information on an individual complaint basis. All the more, companies would again be asked to answer these questions after a review of all the complaints being reported in the complaint submission/declaration for the period. After consideration, AMF and FSCO have agreed that companies will not need to report this information on a case-by-case basis but only at the end of each period.
HOW TO REPORT COMPLAINTS TO THE AMF?
Companies will be able to report complaint data to the AMF through a Web browser system currently under development and expected to be available in the fall of 2005. The system will be designed to be user-friendly and will have a built-in security feature to ensure that companies can report data in confidence to regulators. Implementation of the new system will provide regulators with access to meaningful and reliable data.
Until the system is launched, companies may collect complaint data on the support of their choice. They will be able to enter them electronically in the system starting in the fall of 2005.
For IDA members, complaint reports sent to the AMF will be filed through ComSet and forwarded electronically to the AMF, based on a future agreement between the two entities.
NEXT KEY DATES ?
July 1, 2005
Start of complaint data collection according to new system criterias.
Launch of the new Complaint Reporting System (CRS).
January 30, 2006
Deadline for filing complaint report compiled between July 1 and December 31, 2005.
TOOLS AND PEOPLE TO HELP YOU OUT!
An information kit and documents have been developed to assist companies with the transition to this new system for reporting complaints to the AMF. They are available now on the AMF website under:
A financial sector participant > Obligations and administrative procedures > Complaint Examination
For further details regarding the examination of complaints, please contact our Information Centre:
Québec City: 418.525.0311