Complaints and Inquiries Statistics

The information provided below pre-dates the consolidation of IIROC and the MFDA into the new SRO effective January 1, 2023. Accordingly, all data and other information provided below relates only to IIROC prior to the consolidation as handled by its Complaints and Inquiries team.

Below you will find Complaints and Inquiries Statistics. If you are looking for Enforcement Statistics, please visit our Enforcement Statistics page.

Total complaints and inquiries received

IIROC received a total of 13,136 complaints1 & inquiries2 (contacts) from 2020 to 2022. 70% of those contacts were about matters relating to the dealer firms we regulate (member) or about trading on the Canadian debt and equity markets (market) we monitor. Most of the remaining contacts (30%) fell outside of IIROC's jurisdiction3 (other). In this case, people are redirected to the appropriate regulator, firm or resource.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we experienced a significant increase in contacts from clients of Order-Execution-Only dealers4 , (reflected in the "member" figures below, plus detailed in a later section). While overall volumes have decreased in 2022, we are still experiencing increased contacts from clients of OEO dealers when compared to contacts from clients of full-service dealers.

Grand Total of All Contacts
  • 1Complaints: a (typically) written expression of dissatisfaction.
  • 2Inquiries: questions, comments or verbal expressions of dissatisfaction.
  • 3IIROC only has jurisdiction over those individuals and firms that are registered with IIROC, and Canadian debt and equity markets. See Looking up an Investment Advisor or Firm and Markets We Regulate. Any complaints or inquiries not falling within these categories, nor about IIROC specifically, are included under “other”.
  • 4Order-Execution-Only dealers, or OEO, are firms that provide services, but not advice, to DIY investors.

     

    Grand Total of all Contacts

    Year Event Type Total
    2020 Complaint 1624
    2020 Inquiry 2715
    2021 Complaint 1603
    2021 Inquiry 3364
    2022 Complaint 1183
    2022 Inquiry 2647
    Total 13136

    Complaints and Inquiries 2020

    Case Type Total
    Member 1872
    Market 1410
    Other 1057

    Complaints and Inquiries 2021 YTD

    Case Type Total
    Member 2042
    Market 1441
    Other 1484

    Complaints and Inquiries 2022 YTD

    Case Type Total
    Member 1546
    Market 854
    Other 1430

    Complaints and inquiries regarding IIROC-regulated firms

    IIROC averaged 1,820 contacts annually from 2020 to 2022 about IIROC-regulated firms.

    Member Complaints and Inquiries

       

      Member Complaints and Inquiries

      Date Event Type Total
      2020 Jan Complaint 54
      2020 Jan Inquiry 76
      2020 Feb Complaint 54
      2020 Feb Inquiry 83
      2020 Mar Complaint 91
      2020 Mar Inquiry 123
      2020 Apr Complaint 93
      2020 Apr Inquiry 118
      2020 May Complaint 97
      2020 May Inquiry 92
      2020 Jun Complaint 61
      2020 Jun Inquiry 89
      2020 Jul Complaint 71
      2020 Jul Inquiry 80
      2020 Aug Complaint 54
      2020 Aug Inquiry 73
      2020 Sep Complaint 60
      2020 Sep Inquiry 75
      2020 Oct Complaint 53
      2020 Oct Inquiry 78
      2020 Nov Complaint 44
      2020 Nov Inquiry 92
      2020 Dec Complaint 71
      2020 Dec Inquiry 90
      2021 Jan Complaint 127
      2021 Jan Inquiry 169
      2021 Feb Complaint 134
      2021 Feb Inquiry 194
      2021 Mar Complaint 106
      2021 Mar Inquiry 163
      2021 Apr Complaint 58
      2021 Apr Inquiry 136
      2021 May Complaint 40
      2021 May Inquiry 107
      2021 Jun Complaint 45
      2021 Jun Inquiry 100
      2021 Jul Complaint 28
      2021 Jul Inquiry 64
      2021 Aug Complaint 37
      2021 Aug Inquiry 65
      2021 Sep Complaint 38
      2021 Sep Inquiry 90
      2021 Oct Complaint 45
      2021 Oct Inquiry 79
      2021 Nov Complaint 37
      2021 Nov Inquiry 75
      2021 Dec Complaint 42
      2021 Dec Inquiry 63
      2022 Jan Complaint 44
      2022 Jan Inquiry 85
      2022 Feb Complaint 39
      2022 Feb Inquiry 82
      2022 Mar Complaint 42
      2022 Mar Inquiry 94
      2022 Apr Complaint 44
      2022 Apr Inquiry 97
      2022 May Complaint 67
      2022 May Inquiry 87
      2022 Jun Complaint 48
      2022 Jun Inquiry 94
      2022 Jul Complaint 29
      2022 Jul Inquiry 72
      2022 Aug Complaint 64
      2022 Aug Inquiry 123
      2022 Sep Complaint 31
      2022 Sep Inquiry 78
      2022 Oct Complaint 40
      2022 Oct Inquiry 75
      2022 Nov Complaint 52
      2022 Nov Inquiry 66
      2022 Dec Complaint 23
      2022 Dec Inquiry 73
      Total 5460

      Regulatory vs. non-regulatory complaints and inquiries

      Investors contact IIROC for both regulatory and non-regulatory matters. Regulatory matters are subject to IIROC rules or securities law. For example, allegations of unsuitable investments or unauthorized trading. Non-regulatory matters are issues such as poor customer service and general inquiries about dealer policies and procedures. Non-regulatory matters accounted for almost 70% of contacts from 2020 to 2022. Since non-regulatory matters do not fall under IIROC's mandate, the investor should address these matters directly with the firm involved.

      Regulatory vs. Non-Regulatory Complaints and Inquiries

         

        Regulatory vs. Non-Regulatory Inquiries (Member)

        YearTotalRegulatory or Non
        20201249Non-Regulatory
        2020721Regulatory
        20211796Non-Regulatory
        2021770Regulatory
        20221537Non-Regulatory
        2022674Regulatory
        Total6747 

        Regulatory vs. Non-Regulatory Complaints (Member)

        YearTotalRegulatory or Non
        2020542Non-Regulatory
        2020417Regulatory
        2021659Non-Regulatory
        2021301Regulatory
        2022497Non-Regulatory
        2022268Regulatory
        Total2684 

        Most frequent inquiries about IIROC-regulated firms

        The five most common topics of inquiries to IIROC by clients of IIROC-regulated firms accounted for 58% of all such inquiries (3,400) from 2020 to 2022.

        Many of these inquiries did not result in a formal complaint to IIROC since they were not regulatory in nature.

        The remaining inquiries covered a broad range of topics. Learn more about making a complaint.

        Top 5 Member Inquiries

        *Note: each inquiry may involve more than one topic, thus appearing under multiple categories.

           

          Top 5 Member Inquiries

          Allegation Total Year
          Firm policies/procedures 95 2020
          Firm policies/procedures 185 2021
          Firm policies/procedures 174 2022
          IIROC rule questions/complaints 109 2020
          IIROC rule questions/complaints 139 2021
          IIROC rule questions/complaints 98 2022
          Info. on filing a complaint 210 2020
          Info. on filing a complaint 141 2021
          Info. on filing a complaint 198 2022
          Service Issues 164 2020
          Service Issues 232 2021
          Service Issues 144 2022
          Transfer of Accounts 53 2020
          Transfer of Accounts 51 2021
          Transfer of Accounts 84 2022
          Total 1959  

           

           

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          Most frequent complaints about IIROC-regulated firms

          The five most common topics of complaints to IIROC by clients of IIROC-regulated firms account for 64% of all such complaints (2,060) received from 2020 to 2022.

          Of these complaints, only unsuitable investments and account transfers are generally considered to be regulatory matters, with the remainder generally falling outside of IIROC jurisdiction. Matters that aren’t subject to IIROC rules must be addressed directly by the client to the firm in question.

          IIROC-regulated firms must notify IIROC of all non-service-related complaints they receive and handle all complaints they receive according to prescribed standards contained within IIROC rules.

          Learn more about how IIROC-regulated firms handle client complaints.

          Top 5 Member Complaints

          *Note: each complaint may involve more than one allegation, thus appearing under multiple categories

           

             

            Top 5 Member Complaints

            Allegation Total Year
            Firm policies/procedures 95 2020
            Firm policies/procedures 114 2021
            Firm policies/procedures 83 2022
            Service Issues 180 2020
            Service Issues 271 2021
            Service Issues 113 2022
            Trading disputes, error and delays 66 2020
            Trading disputes, error and delays 68 2021
            Trading disputes, error and delays 35 2022
            Transfer of Accounts 60 2020
            Transfer of Accounts 60 2021
            Transfer of Accounts 56 2022
            Unsuitable Investments 110 2020
            Unsuitable Investments 56 2021
            Unsuitable Investments 70 2022
            Total 1323  

             

             

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            Market-related complaints and inquiries

            IIROC averaged 1,235 contacts annually from 2020 to 2022 regarding trading on Canadian debt and equity markets.

            Market-Related Complaints and Inquiries

               

              Market-related complaints and inquiries

              DateEventTypeTotal
              2020 JanComplaint47
              2020 JanInquiry65
              2020 FebComplaint44
              2020 FebInquiry79
              2020 MarComplaint57
              2020 MarInquiry48
              2020 AprComplaint107
              2020 AprInquiry74
              2020 MayComplaint65
              2020 MayInquiry68
              2020 JunComplaint62
              2020 JunInquiry66
              2020 JulComplaint57
              2020 JulInquiry67
              2020 AugComplaint52
              2020 AugInquiry54
              2020 SepComplaint50
              2020 SepInquiry44
              2020 OctComplaint47
              2020 OctInquiry63
              2020 NovComplaint27
              2020 NovInquiry62
              2020 DecComplaint50
              2020 DecInquiry55
              2021 JanComplaint53
              2021 JanInquiry102
              2021 FebComplaint91
              2021 FebInquiry131
              2021 MarComplaint80
              2021 MarInquiry94
              2021 AprComplaint45
              2021 AprInquiry73
              2021 MayComplaint42
              2021 MayInquiry60
              2021 JunComplaint33
              2021 JunInquiry50
              2021 JulComplaint30
              2021 JulInquiry58
              2021 AugComplaint28
              2021 AugInquiry50
              2021 SepComplaint43
              2021 SepInquiry44
              2021 OctComplaint61
              2021 OctInquiry44
              2021 NovComplaint94
              2021 NovInquiry53
              2021 DecComplaint43
              2021 DecInquiry39
              2022 JanComplaint52
              2022 JanInquiry39
              2022 FebComplaint39
              2022 FebInquiry43
              2022 MarComplaint41
              2022 MarInquiry32
              2022 AprComplaint66
              2022 AprInquiry39
              2022 MayComplaint25
              2022 MayInquiry41
              2022 JunComplaint28
              2022 JunInquiry38
              2022 JulComplaint26
              2022 JulInquiry29
              2022 AugComplaint40
              2022 AugInquiry39
              2022 SepComplaint31
              2022 SepInquiry35
              2022 OctComplaint14
              2022 OctInquiry26
              2022 NovComplaint21
              2022 NovInquiry28
              2022 DecComplaint35
              2022 DecInquiry47
              Total 3705

               

               

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              UMIR vs. non-UMIR complaints and inquiries

              Investors contact IIROC regarding both matters that are subject to the Universal Market Integrity Rules (UMIR) and those that are not. Under Recognition Orders issued by the  Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and by agreement with the marketplaces, IIROC monitors all equity and debt market activity on all Canadian marketplaces, including stock exchanges and alternative trading systems, to detect manipulative trading practices and other breaches of the marketplace trading rules.

              Our goal is to ensure trading complies with UMIR and other IIROC rules. Matters that are not subject to UMIR (or other IIROC rules), such as cease-trade orders, listed company activity and disclosures, fall outside of IIROC’s jurisdiction. These non-UMIR matters accounted for almost 64% of contacts (excluding halt inquiries) during the three most recent years. Since non-UMIR matters do not fall under IIROC's mandate, the investor should address these matters directly with the principal regulator for the issuer (see SEDAR) or the exchange.

              UMIR vs. Non-UMIR Complaints and Inquiries

                 

                UMIR vs. Non-UMIR Inquiries

                Year Total UMIR
                2020 665 Non UMIR
                2020 50 UMIR
                2021 725 Non UMIR
                2021 54 UMIR
                2022 374 Non UMIR
                2022 47 UMIR
                Total 1915  

                UMIR vs. Non-UMIR Complaints

                Year Total UMIR
                2020 396 Non UMIR
                2020 266 UMIR
                2021 301 Non UMIR
                2021 342 UMIR
                2022 181 Non UMIR
                2022 235 UMIR
                Total 1721  

                 

                 

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                Most frequent market-related inquiries

                The top five market-related inquiries accounted for almost 70% of all such inquiries (1,979). By far, our most frequent market-related inquiries are about trading halts, even though we are not able to provide information about specific halts beyond that obtained in the halt notice that is published on our website and through various news services. We also hear from the public about listed company issues and cease-trade orders (CTOs), which do not fall under IIROC’s jurisdiction.

                IIROC’s market-related jurisdiction encompasses monitoring trading on Canadian marketplaces for compliance with the Universal Market Integrity Rules (UMIR). IIROC does not have jurisdiction over public companies or their directors, officers or employees.

                See more about UMIR.

                Top 5 Market-Related Inquiries

                *Note: each inquiry may involve more than one topic, thus appearing under multiple categories. CTO = Cease Trade Order

                   

                  Top 5 Market-Related Inquiries

                  AllegationTotalYear
                  CTO82020
                  CTO782021
                  CTO272022
                  Halt inquiry3492020
                  Halt inquiry3612021
                  Halt inquiry1462022
                  Listed company issues942020
                  Listed company issues862021
                  Listed company issues692022
                  Manipulation282020
                  Manipulation222021
                  Manipulation172022
                  Other jurisdiction402020
                  Other jurisdiction352021
                  Other jurisdiction152022
                  Total1356 

                   

                   

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                  Most frequent market-related complaints

                  The top five market-related complaints accounted for over 70% of all such complaints (1,726). The largest number of the complaints about market activity are allegations of market manipulation.

                  IIROC rules prohibit orders or trades that create a false or misleading appearance of trading activity (or interest in trading) or create an artificial bid, ask or sale price. This activity is considered manipulative and IIROC’s surveillance staff use specialized systems to continuously monitor trading in real-time across multiple marketplaces to detect and pursue instances of suspicious or prohibited trading activity. While some complaints are well-founded, most often, a more fulsome review by IIROC staff who have access to more information about the trades in question and the parties involved, alleviates our concerns. When concerns remain, we forward the complaint information to our Trading Review & Analysis (TR&A) department.

                  Learn how IIROC monitors and analyzes market activity.

                  Top 5 Market-Related Complaints

                  *Note: each complaint may involve more than one topic, thus appearing under multiple categories.

                     

                    Top 5 Market-Related Complaints

                    Allegation Total Year
                    Disclosure 98 2020
                    Disclosure 59 2021
                    Disclosure 59 2022
                    Insider Trading 79 2020
                    Insider Trading 47 2021
                    Insider Trading 39 2022
                    Listed company issues 133 2020
                    Listed company issues 78 2021
                    Listed company issues 46 2022
                    Manipulation 166 2020
                    Manipulation 250 2021
                    Manipulation 157 2022
                    Short Selling 56 2020
                    Short Selling 122 2021
                    Short Selling 47 2022
                    Total 1214  

                     

                     

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                    Order-execution-only (OEO) vs. advisory contacts

                    Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, IIROC has experienced a significant increase in the number of contacts by clients of OEO dealers.

                    OEO vs. Advisory Contacts

                    *Note: for the purposes of this chart, we have excluded other registration categories so these totals won’t equal the total contacts IIROC received. In addition, not all contacts (such as market-related contacts) provide this information.

                       

                      OEO vs Advisory Contacts

                      Date Received Total OEO vs Advisory
                      2020 Jan 56 Advisory
                      2020 Jan 65 Order Execution Only
                      2020 Feb 45 Advisory
                      2020 Feb 64 Order Execution Only
                      2020 Mar 56 Advisory
                      2020 Mar 149 Order Execution Only
                      2020 Apr 61 Advisory
                      2020 Apr 123 Order Execution Only
                      2020 May 59 Advisory
                      2020 May 125 Order Execution Only
                      2020 Jun 57 Advisory
                      2020 Jun 105 Order Execution Only
                      2020 Jul 59 Advisory
                      2020 Jul 97 Order Execution Only
                      2020 Aug 46 Advisory
                      2020 Aug 74 Order Execution Only
                      2020 Sep 55 Advisory
                      2020 Sep 84 Order Execution Only
                      2020 Oct 61 Advisory
                      2020 Oct 69 Order Execution Only
                      2020 Nov 53 Advisory
                      2020 Nov 81 Order Execution Only
                      2020 Dec 39 Advisory
                      2020 Dec 121 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Jan 54 Advisory
                      2021 Jan 235 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Feb 65 Advisory
                      2021 Feb 299 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Mar 64 Advisory
                      2021 Mar 198 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Apr 63 Advisory
                      2021 Apr 131 Order Execution Only
                      2021 May 41 Advisory
                      2021 May 103 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Jun 49 Advisory
                      2021 Jun 89 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Jul 40 Advisory
                      2021 Jul 59 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Aug 35 Advisory
                      2021 Aug 73 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Sep 34 Advisory
                      2021 Sep 87 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Oct 41 Advisory
                      2021 Oct 96 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Nov 38 Advisory
                      2021 Nov 67 Order Execution Only
                      2021 Dec 33 Advisory
                      2021 Dec 57 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Jan 50 Advisory
                      2022 Jan 91 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Feb 41 Advisory
                      2022 Feb 80 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Mar 52 Advisory
                      2022 Mar 94 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Apr 49 Advisory
                      2022 Apr 81 Order Execution Only
                      2022 May 66 Advisory
                      2022 May 84 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Jun 54 Advisory
                      2022 Jun 83 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Jul 34 Advisory
                      2022 Jul 51 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Aug 38 Advisory
                      2022 Aug 132 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Sep 40 Advisory
                      2022 Sep 56 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Oct 34 Advisory
                      2022 Oct 64 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Nov 41 Advisory
                      2022 Nov 64 Order Execution Only
                      2022 Dec 35 Advisory
                      2022 Dec 47 Order Execution Only
                      Total 5316  

                       

                       

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                      Geographic location

                      Most inquiries and complaints come from Ontario, British Columbia, Québec, and Alberta.

                      Location of Investors who contact IIROC

                         

                        Location of Investors Who Contact IIROC

                        Location Total
                        Ontario 986
                        British Columbia 368
                        Alberta 315
                        Québec 250
                        Manitoba 64
                        Saskatchewan 53
                        Nova Scotia 23
                        New Brunswick 14
                        Newfoundland and Labrador 4
                        Yukon 2
                        Nunavut 1
                        Total 2080

                         

                         

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                        Age and gender

                        In cases where age and gender were disclosed, we have seen an increase in contacts from investors under 60 years old, which may correspond to the increase in DIY (do-it-yourself) investing. We hear from males more often than females.

                        Age of Investors who contact IIROC

                           

                          Who Contacts IIROC?

                          Gender Total Percentage
                          Female 978 26%
                          Male 2760 74%
                          Total 3673 100%

                          Note: some cases have more than one party so percentages don't equal 100%


                          Age of Investors that Contact IIROC

                          Age Percentage
                          20-29 6%
                          30-39 17%
                          40-49 17%
                          50-59 25%
                          60-69 20%
                          70-79 10%
                          80-89 6%
                          90-99 2%
                          Total 100%

                          Welcome to CIRO.ca!

                          We have a new look! Today is the first day you can find the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) at CIRO.ca with our fresh look and feel.

                          You can now find new publications published by CIRO since January 1, 2023 on CIRO.ca. If you are looking for past notices or bulletins published by MFDA or IIROC, you can find those on our legacy websites. Enforcement related content will continue on those websites as well.

                          You can now find previous Annual Reports and Enforcement Reports on CIRO.ca, along with Halts and Resumption, and our ePublications sign up (for all previous MFDA and IIROC subscriber lists).

                          We will continue moving items off MFDA and IIROC in 2023/2024. Stay tuned for future updates.