CSA mandates OBSI’s dispute resolution service

By Staff | December 19, 2013 | Last updated on December 19, 2013
2 min read

CSA has published final amendments to National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations. These amendments require all registered dealers and advisers to use the OBSI as the common dispute resolution service (DRS), except in Québec where the mediation regime administered by the Autorité des marchés financiers will continue to apply.

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Requiring that OBSI’s independent dispute resolution services be made available to clients is an important component of the CSA’s investor protection framework. CSA mandates this requirement for exempt market dealers and portfolio managers.

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Today’s amendments now hold all registered dealers and advisers (outside of Québec) to the same requirement. Self-regulatory organizations (SROs) had already mandated their members to make OBSI’s DRS available to their clients and this requirement will continue to apply.

“Customer complaints will be held to an independent and uniform standard that will establish a level playing field in terms of service levels, costs and outcomes,” says Bill Rice, chair of the CSA and chair and CEO of the ASC.

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The amendments to NI 31-103 come into force May 1, 2014, to allow for ministerial approvals required in some jurisdictions. There will be a three-month transition period for registered firms who are not currently OBSI members to comply with the amendments. The transition period will end August 1, 2014.

Also, participating CSA members and OBSI have entered into a memorandum of understanding. Included in the memorandum is a commitment to an independent evaluation of OBSI’s operations and practices within two years of the amendments coming into force and a requirement that OBSI have a fair, transparent and appropriate process for setting fees and allocating costs across its membership.

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The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.