Under applicable regulations, the following registrants must comply with legal obligations and examine client complaints fairly and equitably:

  • Insurers;
  • Trust companies, savings companies and financial services cooperatives;
  • Credit assessment agents
  • Securities dealers and advisers;
  • Firms, independent partnerships and independent representatives.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is the expression of one of the following three elements, which persists after being considered and examined at the operational level charged with making a decision:

  • a reproach against the registrant;
  • the identification of real or potential harm that a consumer has sustained or may sustain; or
  • a request for remedial action.

A complaint must be in writing so that it can be kept on file. If a consumer makes a verbal complaint, the person handling the complaint must document it so that it can be kept on file.

The initial expression of dissatisfaction by a consumer, whether in writing or otherwise, will not be considered a complaint where the issue is settled in the organization's regular course of business. However, in the event the consumer remains dissatisfied and such dissatisfaction is referred to the person who is responsible for the examination of complaints and designated as such in the organization's policy, then it will be considered as a complaint.

However, organizations must refrain from any undue delay in referring a complaint to a higher level solely for the purpose of avoiding reporting requirements.

Organizations without a multi-level complaint examination structure are considered to have received a complaint where a consumer remains dissatisfied after a reasonable attempt has been made to settle the issue.


For more information concerning your complaint examination obligations, please contact an AMF Information Centre agent:

Québec City: 418-525-0337
Montréal: 514-395-0337
Toll-free: 1-877-525-0337