The new complaint handling rule sets standards and timelines for IIROC- regulated firms to acknowledge, investigate and respond to client complaints about their accounts.
Under the new standards the firm has five business days to acknowledge receipt of the client’s complaint. The firm must investigate the complaint and provide its response to the client within 90 calendar days. When firms are unable to respond within 90 days, they are expected to explain the reason for the delay to the client and to IIROC.
The new rule sets clearer standards on how firms should handle investor complaints. This includes appointing a Designated Complaints Officer with the knowledge, experience and authority to manage the complaint handling process and to act as a liaison with IIROC. Firms must provide clients with clear and easily accessible information about their complaint handling process.
The rule also aims to promote more effective communication with clients. Clients will be informed about complaint handling procedures and other options available to pursue complaint disputes at account opening, when they make a complaint, and when the firm provides them with its final response. These communications will include the IIROC-approved An Investor’s Guide to Making a Complaint brochure.