Qualitative Research among Complainants

IIROC actively seeks opportunities to gather feedback on how we can enhance our efforts to protect investors and support healthy Canadian capital markets. Feedback from all of our stakeholders helps us assess areas where IIROC can improve and further contribute to our role as a public interest regulator.

In keeping with our public interest role, I am pleased to release the results of our Qualitative Research Among Complainants (pdf) report. This research was completed independently through an external research firm for IIROC.

Our initial goal was to better understand the needs and expectations of complainants in their interactions with our Complaints & Inquiries (C&I) department – the IIROC team responsible for intake and initial review of filed complaints.

However, the scope of findings from this study went beyond C&I and extended to the participants entire experience with IIROC – from C&I intake to potentially a final decision made by Enforcement.

IIROC is mandated to investigate complaints and take actions based solely on our regulatory framework.  For example, IIROC does not have the authority to order compensation for investor losses or to compensate losses directly.

These limitations can be a surprise to investors and can also result in an outcome that is disappointing to them.  We believe that highlighting the gap between those expectations and our ability to act is a very important input to the public policy process and will inform the future evolution of our role.  Given that our colleagues at the Canadian Securities Administrators are currently examining the self-regulatory framework, this report is very timely.

Even within the limits of our existing mandate, the results of the research have highlighted opportunities to improve the experience for complainants – primarily through the provision of increased education and transparency. In particular, the research revealed a desire for greater information concerning IIROC's investigative process.

We are reviewing the findings and working to determine where we can provide better education, clarity and transparency about our processes.  We hope to be able to add additional touchpoints with complainants throughout the investigative process and the provision of more information and clarity related to what is, and is not, within our mandate.

The results have clearly identified a number of ways in which the study participants felt that the regulatory system fell short of their expectations.  While their experiences were not as positive as we would have hoped, we are grateful for their participation as it is only through having these difficult conversations that we can determine where we need to make improvements. 

Elsa Renzella
Senior Vice-President, Enforcement, Registration and Enterprise Risk