Help with getting your money back

The following organizations may be able to help you get your money back. You can contact the OSC at any time if you have questions or need information.

It’s important to act quickly, especially if you want to keep legal action as an option. In general, you have to start a legal action within two years of the day you discovered (or should have discovered) your loss. This two-year limitation period is governed by Ontario law. The start of the limitation period depends on the particular facts of your situation.

The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI)

OBSI is a free, independent service for resolving banking services and investment disputes between participating firms and their clients. If you’re not satisfied with the firm’s decision on your complaint, or if the firm has not provided its final response to you within 90 calendar days of the date you complained, you can bring your case to OBSI for an impartial and informal review. You have up to 180 days after receiving the firm’s response to get in touch with OBSI. OBSI can recommend compensation of up to $350,000.

If you or the firm decides not to accept OBSI’s recommendation, you can still use the IIROC arbitration program (if the dispute involves an IIROC member) or take legal action.

Tel: (416) 287-2877

Investment Industry Regulatory Organizaiton of Canada (IIROC) arbitration

If you have a dispute with an IIROC member firm or its representative and have not been able to resolve it through the firm’s complaints process, you can use the IIROC arbitration program. This program, which provides dispute resolution up to $500,000, is run by ADR Chambers. ADR Chambers is a national alternative dispute resolution organization, completely independent of IIROC. There is a cost to use this system. In addition, arbitration decisions are binding. For this reason, the parties often retain legal counsel. However, the process is generally faster and less expensive than the court system.

Tel: (416) 362-8555

Legal action

You may also want to consider legal action through the Small Claims Court or the Superior Court of Justice. If you need a lawyer, you can contact the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-268-8326. This service will give you the name of a lawyer who will provide up to 30 minutes of free consultation to residents of Ontario.

Small claims court:

See the blue pages in your local telephone directory or contact The Ministry of the Attorney General
Tel: (416) 326-2220