Two key issues investors can search when it comes to the backgrounds of advisors as well as their firms are:
- Is the individual or firm regulated by a securities industry regulator other than IIROC?
- Does the individual or firm have a disciplinary record?
Canada’s securities commissions, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association and other regulatory organizations have their own on-line services that allow you to search for registration status and disciplinary records of advisors and firms. We’ve collected a list of websites and search tool sources to continue your research. They are grouped by membership/registration and disciplinary records.
The links will guide you directly to the database or tool in question. Because the range of information available varies, you may find you need to search multiple sites to collect all available information.
- The Canadian Securities Administrators
National Registration Search is a web-based tool that provides information about individuals and firms registered with securities regulatory authorities in Canada. Registration conditions for companies and individuals registered in Quebec are not available through the National Registration Search.
- The Mutual Fund Dealers Association provides a
Directory of Members for firms only, not individuals.
- The Canadian Securities Administrators’
Disciplined Persons List is the most comprehensive way to search for all individuals who have
already been disciplined by IIROC, the MFDA and securities regulators in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It lists market participants from many parts of Canada who have been disciplined by a securities regulator for securities regulation violations. It includes anyone who has been subject to sanctions in participating jurisdictions, no matter how serious and whether or not the sanctions have expired.
Please note the CSA list does not include the following: disciplined firms and ongoing (ie. not completed) disciplinary hearings against individuals; and disciplinary actions taken by Chambre de la sécurité financière.
- Investors can also access warning or caution lists at the
BCSC. These databases include companies that either appear to be engaging in activities that may pose a risk to investors or may have contacted investors about accounts or investments that don’t comply with securities laws. Additionally, the
NBSC has a caution list of individuals or firms who are not registered to trade securities or provide investment advice in New Brunswick.
- Ongoing cases against individuals. Disciplinary records for current (ie not completed) cases against individuals can only be found on the websites of the provincial commissions. The following are direct links to the search tools available for current cases and hearings in
Nova Scotia (NSSC); and
New Brunswick (NBSC).
- Disciplinary records of dealer firms. These provincial sites are also the only way to search the disciplinary records (both current and completed) by firm. Use the same links as for No. 2 above.
- Mutual Fund Dealers: The MFDA, which is the national self-regulatory organization for the distribution side of the mutual fund industry, provides two alphabetical lists, which show if a mutual fund advisor or firm has been, or is currently, involved in an enforcement action;
current disciplinary cases and
completed disciplinary cases.
- Searching in the United States:
- The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Is the self-regulatory organization for the US investment Industry. FINRA’s
BrokerCheck Is a free tool to help investors research the professional backgrounds of current and former FINRA-registered brokerage firms and brokers.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission has an online
Investment Advisor Public Disclosure Program which provides investors with information about both SEC- and state-registered investment advisor firms. The SEC typically regulates investment advisors that have in excess of $25 million in assets under management.