Investor complaints up 17% in 2016: OBSI

By Staff | March 16, 2017 | Last updated on March 16, 2017
1 min read

The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) opened 350 investment-related cases in 2016, an increase of 17%, reveals the ombudsman’s annual report.

However, complaints related to mutual funds dropped 3%, though they remain the number one product investors complain about, representing 44% of cases. Common shares or equities represented 34% of cases, but no comparison is made to last year, nor are these cases mentioned in last year’s report.

The leading investing issues across products were:

  • suitability (27%),
  • suitability of margin or leverage (15%) if funds were borrowed to invest,
  • incomplete or inaccurate disclosure about a product (11%) and
  • fee disclosure (10%).

These issues were consistent with previous years.

The number of investment cases closed in 2016 was 333, compared to 384 in 2015. This 13% decline was largely due to the elimination of the backlog of investment cases in 2015.

Read: OBSI to explore naming and shaming alternatives

Average compensation for investor complaints was $15,552, though fewer than half of investment complaints (45%) ended with monetary compensation.

Read: OBSI continues push for binding awards powers

Overall, investors with complaints rated the quality of service as very good or good (83%), regardless of compensation received.

For more details, as well as a list of opened cases by firm, read the full report.

Also read: Investor rights firm files class action against TD in wake of CBC reports staff


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