CSA proposal would mandate OBSI dispute resolution for all registered dealers and advisors

November 15, 2012

The Canadian Securities Administrators today published for comment proposed amendments to NI 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations and its companion policy that would require registered dealers and advisers outside Quebec to make the services of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments available to clients to satisfy their obligations regarding offering independent dispute resolution or mediation services.

Under the proposals, a "complaint" would relate specifically to trading or advising activity of a registered firm or representative. The complaint would be required to be raised within six years of the date a client knew or reasonably ought to have known of the trading or advising activity and would involve claims no greater than $350,000. Where OBSI was unwilling or unable to consider a complaint, a registered firm would have to ensure that the services of another dispute resolution or mediation service was made available to the client.

According to the CSA, mandating OBSI as the common service provider for all registered dealers and advisers would serve the best interests of investors and registrants. The CSA have asked stakeholders specific questions about the proposals, including with respect to the time limit on complaints and OBSI's current terms of reference. Comments are being accepted until February 15, 2013.

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