The OBSI Joint Regulators Committee
The Joint Regulators Committee (JRC) is composed of designated representatives of the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the two self-regulatory organization (SRO)s that amalgamated on January 1, 2023, and are predecessors to the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO), the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA). The JRC provides oversight of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI), with a mandate to:
- facilitate a holistic approach to information sharing and monitor the dispute resolution process to promote investor protection and confidence in the external dispute resolution system;
- support fairness, accessibility, and effectiveness of the dispute resolution process; and
- facilitate regular communication and consultation among JRC members and OBSI.
Grant Vingoe (CEO, Ontario Securities Commission) is the current chair of the JRC.
Members and frequency of meetings
Currently, the JRC is composed of CSA designated representatives from the Alberta Securities Commission, the British Columbia Securities Commission, the Ontario Securities Commission, and the Autorité des marchés financiers (collectively, CSA Designates), and representatives from CIRO.
The JRC meets on a regularly scheduled basis, typically four times each year. The JRC meets with OBSI to discuss governance and operational matters. The JRC also meets with the board of directors of OBSI (at least once a year) to discuss, among other things:
- material operating issues, including fees, specific to OBSI
- OBSI governance matters
- the effectiveness of OBSI’s dispute resolution practices
Contacting the JRC
Contact the JRC for any matter relating to the JRC’s oversight of OBSI at [email protected].
Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments
If you have a dispute about a registered person or firm that may have acted inappropriately (for example, by recommending investments that are unsuitable for you based on the information you gave them) and you have lost money that you wish to get back, you can submit a complaint to the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). OBSI is a free and independent service for resolving banking and investment disputes between participating firms and their clients and can recommend compensation of up to $350,000. For information on how to make a complaint to OBSI, see the process to get your money back. Additional information is also available at GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.
All registered dealers and advisers in Canada (including portfolio managers, exempt market dealers, and scholarship plan dealers) —with the exception of those registered in Québec—are required to ensure that OBSI’s services are made available to their clients, at the dealer or adviser’s expense.
In Québec, the AMF provides dispute resolution services to clients who reside in Québec. Firms registered in Québec have to inform clients residing in Québec of the availability of the AMF’s dispute resolution services. Investors in Québec are nevertheless entitled to use the services of OBSI for disputes that fall within OBSI’s mandate, in lieu of the AMF’s dispute resolution services. See the full OBSI terms of reference.
The CSA and OBSI signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which sets out standards that OBSI is expected to meet on:
- independence and standard of fairness
- processes to perform functions on a timely and fair basis
- fees and costs
- systems and controls
- core methodologies
- information sharing
Reports and publications
The following reports and publications have been prepared by, or in association with, OBSI since the JRC’s formation in 2014.
- CSA Staff Notice 31-362 – OBSI Joint Regulators Committee Annual Report for 2021
- CSA Staff Notice 31-361 – OBSI Joint Regulators Committee Annual Report for 2020
- CSA Staff Notice 31-359 – OBSI Joint Regulators Committee Annual Report for 2019
- CSA Staff Notice 31-355 OBSI Joint Regulators Committee Annual Report for 2018
- CSA Staff Notice 31-353 OBSI Joint Regulators Committee Annual Report for 2017
- CSA Staff Notice 31-348 OBSI Joint Regulators Committee Annual Report for 2016
- CSA Staff Notice 31-344 OBSI Joint Regulators Committee Annual Report for 2015
- CSA Staff Notice 31-340 OBSI Joint Regulators Committee Annual Report for 2014
As required by the MOU, the chair of OBSI’s board of directors informs the CSA Designates of issues that appear likely to have significant regulatory implications, including issues that appear to affect multiple clients of one or more registered firms. The Protocol for Handling Systemic Issues report defines systemic issues and sets out a regulatory approach to address these issues when reported by OBSI.
As required under the MOU, an independent review of OBSI’s operations and practices on the investment side of its mandate was conducted in 2021.
- Independent Evaluation of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) Investment Mandate
- JRC’s statement in response to the release of the independent review
As required under the MOU, an independent review of OBSI’s operations and practices on the investment side of its mandate was conducted in 2016.
On December 7, 2017, the CSA, IIROC and MFDA released a joint Notice that highlights concerns about some registered firms’ complaint handling systems and participation in OBSI’s services, and sets out potential regulatory responses. The Notice also outlines staff’s concerns regarding the use of an internal “ombudsman” as part of complaint handling system.