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Complaints & Inquiries Statistics



IIROC’s Complaints & Inquiries team handles all incoming public investor complaints and inquiries. Across Canada, the team answers general investment-related rule questions and regulatory complaints as well as:  

  • fielding trading halt and other trading-related inquiries

  • providing information about IIROC’s regulatory role

  • helping investors navigate through the complaint process

  • redirecting callers to other regulators or firms

  • providing compensation information to investors that deal with IIROC-regulated investment dealers

The C&I team gathers general statistics on the nature of incoming complaints and inquiries in order to inform various IIROC departments about problematic or trending situations so appropriate measures can be taken. We also provide general statistical information to IIROC-regulated dealers about the number and nature of complaints and inquiries received about them so that they may take appropriate corrective measures. Learn more about why IIROC publishes C&I statistics.

Regulatory complaints about IIROC dealers are referred to IIROC’s Enforcement department, while market complaints with the appearance of suspicious trading activity are forwarded to IIROC’s Trading Review & Analysis department (TR&A). These departments determine whether a matter warrants further action. Learn more about IIROC's Enforcement process and statistics.

 

Complaints & Inquiries statistics for fiscal years 2017 through 2019

(April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2019)

Total complaints and inquiries received

IIROC received a total of 11,880 complaints & inquiries (contacts) during the last 3 fiscal years. Just over 70% of those contacts were about matters relating to the dealer firms we regulate or about trading on the Canadian debt and equity markets we monitor. The majority of the remaining contacts (25%) fall outside of IIROC's jurisdiction. In the latter case, we always try to redirect the person to the appropriate regulator or firm.

Over the past few years, we have seen a significant increase in market-related contacts as well as contacts that fall outside of our jurisdiction, while the number of contacts regarding those dealers regulated by IIROC declined slightly in the last fiscal year.

Total complaints and inquiries received

 


 

Complaints & Inquiries received by IIROC regarding trading on Canadian equity and debt markets

IIROC averaged 1,450 contacts annually for the three most recent fiscal years regarding trading on Canadian debt and equity markets, with the greatest number of contacts during FY18.

 Complaints & Inquiries received by IIROC  regarding trading on Canadian equity and debt markets

 


 

Most frequent market-related inquiries

By far, our most frequent market-related inquiries are about trading halts.

Most frequent market-related inquiries

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

 


 

Most frequent market-related complaints

Over half of the complaints we receive 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 alleviates our concerns. When concerns remain, we forward the complaint information to our TR&A department. Learn how IIROC monitors and analyzes market activity.

Most frequent market-related complaints

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

 


 

Complaints and inquiries regarding IIROC-regulated firms

IIROC averaged 1,411 contacts annually for the three most recent fiscal years regarding IIROC-regulated firms.

   Complaints and inquiries regarding IIROC-regulated firms

 


 

Regulatory vs. non-regulatory complaints and inquiries

Investors contact IIROC regarding both regulatory and non-regulatory matters. Regulatory matters are those that are subject to IIROC rules or securities law – for example, allegations of unsuitable investments or unauthorized trading. Non-regulatory matters pertain to issues such as poor customer service and general inquiries about dealer policies and procedures. Non-regulatory matters accounted for 40% of contacts during the three most recent fiscal years. Since non-regulatory matters do not fall under IIROC's purview, the investor should address these matters directly with the firm involved.

   Regulatory vs. non-regulatory complaints and inquiries

 


 

Most frequent inquiries about IIROC-regulated firms

The five most common topics of inquiries to IIROC by clients of IIROC-regulated firms account for 54% of all inquiries (3,333) in the three most recent fiscal years. Just over 20% of our inquiries are about filing a complaint, followed by queries about dealer firm policies and procedures and IIROC rule questions. Since many of these inquiries about filing a complaint are not regulatory in nature, they often do not result in a formal complaint to IIROC. The remaining queries cover a very broad range of topics. Learn how to file a complaint.

   Most frequent  inquiries about IIROC-regulated firms  

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

 


 

Most frequent complaints to IIROC about IIROC-regulated firms

The five most common topics of complaints to IIROC by clients of IIROC-regulated firms account for 44% of all complaints (1,686) received in the three most recent fiscal years. Our most common complaint is about unsuitable investments followed by firm policies and procedures and service issues – the latter two usually fall outside of IIROC rules and must be addressed directly with the firm in question.

IIROC-regulated firms must notify IIROC of all regulatory complaints they receive and handle all complaints they receive according to prescribed standards contained within IIROC rules. Learn more about IIROC's complaints process.

Most frequent complaints to IIROC about IIROC-regulated firms

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

 


 

Geographic location

The majority of inquiries and complaints come from Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Alberta. Ontario residents account for approximately 44% of the total complaints and inquiries received (where location is known). Note: The numbers in this chart do not match the total number of complaints and inquiries as only some contacts provide IIROC with their location.

Geographic location

 


 

Age and gender

In cases where age and gender were disclosed, we hear most often from those between 60 and 70 years old and we hear from men more than twice as often as women.

Age

 

Age and gender

 

Gender

 

Age and gender

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