The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) is the national association representing investment
firms that provide products and services to Canadian retail and institutional investors. Our members
manufacture and distribute a variety of securities including ETFs, mutual funds, closed-end funds, and
other exempt products. They provide a diverse array of portfolio management, advisory and nonadvisory services. Our members service most retail investors in Canada.
The CSA has advised that it is developing a proposal for comment that contemplates providing OBSI with
the authority to make awards that are binding on firms.
Amongst the arguments cited in favour of binding authority is that a binding decision-making model
reflects an international norm or best practice. An ombudsperson is to remain informal, neutral,
confidential, and independent. To maintain these key qualities, an ombudsperson would typically not
produce any findings or make binding decisions.1 As a result and for valid reason, non-binding authority
for ombuds and ombuds services is common. Enclosed at Schedule “A” is a lengthy list of ombuds and
ombuds services in Canada and other jurisdictions that have non-binding authority, in both financial and
As currently drafted, s. 13.16(6) of National Instrument 31-103 – Registration Requirements, Exemptions
and Ongoing Registrant Obligations denies investors choice by requiring registered firms outside of
Québec to make OBSI the sole dispute resolution service available to their clients.
A more fulsome discussion is needed regarding making available to investors other low cost, flexible
options for dispute resolution, including third party mediation.
Read the full submission here: https://iiac-accvm.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Letter-to-CSA-Non-Binding-Ombuds-re.-OBSI-March-13-2023.pdf