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Filing a complaint with the BCSC

Report to Us

Make a Complaint

Use our online form to file a complaint. If you need assistance our BCSC Contact Centre is here to help.

Before submitting your investment-related complaint or concern, we recommend reviewing the information below to better prepare yourself prior to filing a complaint.

Our Complaint Process

The BC Securities Commission (BCSC) encourages complaints from the public to help us detect, disrupt, and deter illegal investment market activity and industry-related misconduct related to B.C.

If your complaint or tip relates to a securities enforcement matter or misconduct, we send the information to the person who’s working on the file. If there’s no specific file, we assess it to decide what action should be taken. We may contact you to ask for more information, or we may need to interview you. We may also close the file, send it to another regulator, or suggest you contact another enforcement agency, like the police.

Watch this video to find out what happens when you file a complaint:

To learn more in-depth information about our complaint process, see our overview.

Before You File a Complaint

Before you file, collect any relevant documents that support your complaint. Submitting supporting documentation with your complaint can help us determine the best course of action.

If you are reporting investment fraud or alleging illegal market misconduct, include all the information you have collected, including correspondence, paperwork, screenshots, photos, etc. Provide a detailed summary of what happened that includes names of individuals, companies or entities that you came into contact with.

If you are reporting advisor or industry misconduct, have copies of your investment account statements or information related to the situation. You may also choose to send emails, text messages, or other forms of written communication. If you have already contacted your investment advisor or their firm, it helps to provide those details when the complaint is filed.

Watch this video to learn about how to file a complaint or submit a tip:

You can reach out to our BCSC Contact Centre if you have any questions.

How the BCSC Investigates Complaints

The BCSC investigates investment market complaints with a connection to British Columbia. This means illegal activity or market misconduct that is occurring in B.C., affecting British Columbians, or being conducted within B.C.’s borders.

Here are a few examples that the BCSC would investigate:

  • You are a B.C. resident who has lost money in an investment scheme or fraud
  • You know about a company or individual that is illegally selling or promoting investments in B.C. or to British Columbians
  • You know about a B.C.-based company or individual that is illegally selling or promoting investments to British Columbians

Visit the Canadian Securities Administrators website for other provincial and territorial regulator’s contact information. If you are unsure what Canadian securities regulator would handle your complaint, feel free to file it with the BCSC and we’ll work with you to get it to the right place.

What the BCSC Can & Cannot Do

The BCSC has a wide range of authority, including enforcement powers to disrupt, stop, and prevent unscrupulous market behaviour. Here is a summary of what the BCSC can and cannot do:

The BCSC Can

  • act against market misconduct, including removing from the market those who do not comply with the law or who cheat investors.
  • enforce compliance with securities legislation.
  • in some cases, order respondents to pay back money to investors.
  • answer general questions about investment products and services.
  • tell you if a firm or representative is registered in B.C.
  • tell you if the BCSC, or another securities regulator, has disciplined an individual or company.
  • suggest options for pursuing your complaint and tell you which organization may be of the most help.

The BCSC Cannot

  • force someone to give your money back.
  • undo a transaction.
  • give advice on an investment.
  • give legal advice.
  • negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
  • comment on an investigation.

Complaints about Fraud or Illegal Activity

The BCSC’s Enforcement division investigates breaches of B.C.’s securities laws including investment fraud, illegal insider trading, market manipulation, disclosure violations, illegal distribution of securities, and registrant misconduct.

The sooner we know about a problem, the faster we can act on it. For example, we can prohibit trading and freeze investment accounts. We can also investigate possible criminal activity related to the investment market.

Other Ways to File a Complaint

Aside from using our online complaint form, you can also download the following forms and submit them by email, fax, or regular mail.

Complaint Form 
Complaint Form

We appreciate the time you spend completing this report. Contact the BCSC’s Contact Centre if you have questions, or have a problem completing the form.

BCSC Contact Centre
Telephone: 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free across Canada)

If you want to discuss your concerns with the Office of the Whistleblower, please contact them directly.