Summary of Portfolio Strategies Corporation Complaint Handling Procedures
Satisfied clients are the foundation of our business – Portfolio Strategies Corporation (PSC) and your advisor want to ensure that we are meeting your needs and expectations. If a question or issue arises, we are committed to resolving it in a fair manner.
PSC has procedures in place to handle any written or verbal complaints received from clients in a fair and prompt manner. This is a summary of those procedures, which we provide to new clients, clients who have filed a complaint, and that we also make available on our website at www.portfoliostrategies.ca. Our complaint handling procedures and the information in this section applies to complaints about any product or service that we provide, including mutual funds, segregated funds, and exempt market securities.
How to File a Complaint with PSC
Clients wishing to complain to PSC may make their complaint to our head office, or to any branch manager, or to your advisor. All complaints are forwarded to qualified compliance or supervisory personnel to be handled. We encourage clients to make their complaint in writing or by email where possible. Where clients have difficulty putting their complaint in writing, they should advise us so that we can provide assistance. For confidentiality reasons, we will only deal with the client or another individual who has the client’s express written authorization to deal with us.
You may contact PSC head office by mail at Portfolio Strategies Corporation, 1850 – 14 Street SW, Calgary, AB T2T 3S9; by telephone at 1-(877) 303-3233 to speak with a compliance officer; or by e-mail at email@example.com.
(Clients who choose to communicate by email should be aware of possible confidentiality issues regarding Internet communications.)
Complaint Handling Procedures
We will acknowledge receipt of complaints promptly, generally within five business days. We review all complaints fairly, taking into account all relevant documents and statements obtained from the client, the advisor, other staff members, and information from our records and any other relevant source. Once our review is complete we provide clients with our response, which will be in writing if the complaint was made in writing. Our response may be an offer to resolve your complaint, a denial of the complaint with reasons, or another appropriate response. Where the complaint relates to certain serious allegations (as defined in the Policies of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada of which PSC is a Member), our initial acknowledgement will include copies of this summary and the Client Complaint Information Form. Our response will summarize your complaint and our findings, and will contain a reminder about your options with the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (“OBSI”).
We will generally provide our response within ninety days, unless we are waiting for additional information from you, or the case is unique or very complicated.
We will respond to communications you send us after the date of our response to the extent necessary to implement a resolution or to address any new issues or information you provide.
If we offer you a financial settlement, we may ask you to sign a release and waiver for legal reasons.
Contacting PSC During a Complaint Investigation
Clients may contact us at any time to provide further information or to inquire as to the status of their complaint, by contacting the individual handling their complaint or by contacting a compliance officer at PSC’s head office.
The Client Complaint Information Form (“CCIF”)
The following section is the CCIF as prescribed by the MFDA. We also provide a copy of the CCIF as a separate document to any client who makes a complaint. Note that the OBSI does not deal with complaints related to segregated funds or other products that legally fall under insurance regulation.
MUTUAL FUND DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
Client Complaint Information Form
Clients of a mutual fund dealer who are not satisfied with a financial product or service have a right to make a complaint and to seek resolution of the problem. MFDA Member dealers have a responsibility to their clients to ensure that all complaints are dealt with fairly and promptly. If you have a complaint, these are some of the steps you can take:
- Contact your mutual fund dealer. Member firms are responsible to you, the investor, for monitoring the actions of their representatives to ensure that they are in compliance with by-laws, rules and policies governing their activities. The firm will investigate any complaint that you initiate and respond back to you with the results of their investigation within the time period expected of a Member acting diligently in the circumstances, in most cases within three months of receipt of the complaint. It is helpful if your complaint is in writing.
- Contact the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”), which is the self-regulatory organization in Canada to which your mutual fund dealer belongs. The MFDA investigates complaints about mutual fund dealers and their representatives, and takes enforcement action where appropriate. You may make a complaint to the MFDA at any time, whether or not you have complained to your mutual fund dealer. The MFDA can be contacted:
- By completing the on-line complaint form at www.mfda.ca
- By telephone in Toronto at (416) 361-6332, or toll free at 1-888-466-6332
- By e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (you may wish to consider issues of internet security when sending sensitive information by standard e-mail)
- In writing by mail to 121 King Street West, Suite 1000, Toronto, ON M5H 3T9 or by fax at (416) 361-9073
The MFDA does not order compensation or restitution to clients of Members. The MFDA exists to regulate the operations, standards of practice and business conduct of its Members and their representatives with a mandate to enhance investor protection and strengthen public confidence in the Canadian mutual fund industry. If you are seeking compensation, you may consider the following:
- Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (“OBSI”): You may make a complaint to OBSI after you have complained to the dealer, at either of the following times:
- If the dealer’s Compliance Department has not responded to your complaint within 90 days of the date you complained, or:
- After the dealer’s Compliance Department has responded to your complaint and you are not satisfied with the response. Please note that you have 180 calendar days to bring your complaint to OBSI after receiving the dealer’s response.
- OBSI provides an independent and impartial process for the investigation and resolution of complaints about the provision of financial services to clients. OBSI can make a non-binding recommendation that your firm compensate you (up to $350,000) if it determines that you have been treated unfairly, taking into account the criteria of good financial services and business practice, relevant codes of practice or conduct, industry regulation and the law. The OBSI process is free of charge and is confidential. OBSI can be contacted:
- By telephone in Toronto at (416) 287-2877, or toll free at 1-888-451-4519
- By e-mail at email@example.com
- Legal Assistance: You may consider retaining a lawyer to assist with the complaint. You should be aware that there are legal time limits for taking civil action. A lawyer can advise you of your options and recourses. Once the applicable limitation period expires, you may lose rights to pursue some claims.
- Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan: Securities regulatory authorities in these provinces have the power to, in appropriate cases, order that a person or company that has contravened securities laws in their province pay compensation to a claimant. The claimant is then able to enforce such an order as if it were a judgment of the superior court in that province. For more information, please visit:
- In Québec:
- If you are not satisfied with the outcome or with the examination of a complaint, the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) can examine your complaint and may provide dispute resolution services.
- If you think you are a victim of fraud, fraudulent tactics or embezzlement, you can contact the AMF to see if you meet the eligibility to submit a claim to the Fonds d’indemnisation des services financiers (“Financial Services Compensation Fund”). An indemnity up to $200,000 can be payable through monies accumulated in the fund for an eligible claim.
- For more information:
- Contact the AMF by telephone at (418) 525-0337 (in Québec), or toll free at 1-877-525-0337
- Visit www.lautorite.qc.ca.