How are my investments protected?

What happens if my financial institution fails?

Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation

Who is CDIC?

  • CDIC is a federal Crown corporation that provides deposit insurance against the loss of eligible deposits at member institutions in the event of failure.

Who are CDIC member institutions?

  • Banks
  • Federally regulated credit unions
  • Loans and Trust companies
  • Associations governed by the Cooperative Credit Associations Act that take deposits

For a list of CDIC member institutions, click here.

What is covered?

  • savings and chequing accounts
  • GICs and other term deposits with original terms to maturity of five years or less

What is not covered?

  • mutual funds, stocks and bonds
  • foreign currency
  • cryptocurrencies

What are CDIC’s coverage limits?

  • If a CDIC member institution fails, eligible deposits at each CDIC member institution are protected to a maximum of $100,000 per separately insured category. For more information on coverage and insured categories, click here.

Do I have pay or apply for CDIC coverage?

  • No, CDIC coverage is free and automatic. If your deposits are insured, CDIC will pay you automatically in case of a failure.

Are there any videos I can watch about CDIC?

  • Yes, watch videos about CDIC, how deposit insurance works and other topics here.

Canadian Investor Protection Fund

Who is CIPF?

  • CIPF is a not-for-profit organization whose mandate it is to provide protection if property being held by a member firm on your behalf is not returned to you following the firm’s insolvency

Who are CIPF member firms?

  • An investment dealerInvestment dealer A securities firm that buys and sells a wide range of investments. They are likely a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).+ read full definition that is a member of IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada)

For a directory of CIPF member firms, click here.

What is covered?

  • Missing property. This is property held by a CIPF member firm on your behalf that is not returned to you following the firm’s insolvency. Missing property can include:
    • cash
    • securities
    • futuresFutures A derivative contract that commits you to buy or sell a commodity, currency or stock market index at a set price on a set date in the future. Unlike an option, you can’t change your mind later; you must do what your contract says you will do.+ read full definition
    • segregated insurance funds

What is not covered?

  • Losses resulting from:
    • a drop in the value of your investments for any reason
    • unsuitable investments
    • fraudulent or other misrepresentations that were made to you
    • misleading information that was given to you
    • important information that was not disclosed to you
    • poor investment advice
    • the insolvency or default of the company that issued your security
  • Securities held directly by you (for example, a share certificateShare certificate A document that represents a shareholder’s part ownership of a company+ read full definition that you hold)
  • Other exclusions identified in the CIPF Coverage Policy. Click here for more information.

What are CIPF’s coverage limits?

  • For an individual, the limits on CIPF protection are generally as follows:
    • $1 million for all general accounts combined (such as cash accounts, marginMargin A way to buy investments by borrowing money from a stockbroker. You must also invest some of your own money first. The extra that you borrow is your margin. Some rules apply about the size of margin that you can have.+ read full definition accounts and TFSAs), plus
    • $1 million for all registered retirement accounts combined (such as RRSPs, RRIFs and LIFs), plus
    • $1 million for all registered education savings plans (RESPs) combined where the client is the subscriber of the plan.
  • For more information on limits for corporations, partnerships, unincorporated organizations and trusts, click here.

Do I have pay or apply for CIPF coverage?

  • No, CIPF coverage is free and automatic if you have an account with a CIPF member firm that is used solely for investing in securities or in futures contracts.

Are there any videos I can watch about CIPF?

  • Yes, watch videos about CIPF here.

Where can investors learn more about the CIPF and the role it plays in the Canadian Financial System?

 CIPF has created an investor series that includes:

MFDA Investor Protection Corporation

Who is MFDA IPC?

  • MFDA IPC is a not-for-profit corporation whose objective it is to return assets to you or compensate you when your assets are not available because the member firm has become insolvent.

Who are MFDA member firms?

  • A mutual fund dealerMutual fund dealer A company that buys and sells the shares or units of mutual funds for investors.+ read full definition that is a member of MFDA (Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada)

For a directory of MFDA member firms, click here.

What is covered?

  • Examples of the types of property that may be eligible for MFDA IPC coverage:
    • securities
    • cash
    • segregated funds

What is not covered?

  • Customer losses which do not result from the insolvency of a member firm such as:
    • losses that result from changing market valueMarket value The value of an investment on the statement date. The market value tells you what your investment is worth as at a certain date. Example: If you had 100 units and the price was $2 on the statement date, their market value would be $200.+ read full definition of securities
    • unsuitable investments
    • the default of an issuerIssuer An organization that offers securities for sale to investors. Examples: corporations, investment trusts and government bodies.+ read full definition of securities

What are MFDA IPC’s coverage limits?

  • Up to $1 million for each of a customer’s general and separate accounts. Most customers will have two “accounts” for coverage purposes:
    • the aggregate of their trading accounts (general account) and
    • the aggregate of their registered retirement accounts, such as RRSPs and RIFs (separate account)

Do I have pay or apply for MFDA IPC coverage?

  • No, MFDA IPC coverage is free and automatic if you have an account with a MFDA member firm.

For information about other compensation plans in Canada, visit www.financeprotection.ca

How do I make a complaint about my advisor?

It is important to know how to make a complaint about your advisor either directly to your advisor or to the Ontario Securities CommissionOntario Securities Commission An independent Crown corporation that is responsible for regulating the capital markets in Ontario. Its mandate is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic…+ read full definition (OSCOSC See Ontario Securities Commission.+ read full definition).

Making a complaint: getting your money back

If you are unhappy as a result of the service or advice you have received and believe that you may have lost money, you may wish to make a complaint and attempt to recover your losses. The complaint process may involve a number of steps in order to get a result that you’re satisfied with.

Some key points to keep in mind:

  • Your first step is to contact the firm about your complaint.
  • Once you have made your complaint, your firm has up to 90 calendar days to respond in writing. Your firm also has to send you a written acknowledgement of your complaint as soon as possible after you make it.
  • After receiving the firm’s response, which should include either the firm’s offer to resolve the complaint or a denial of the complaint, you can choose to accept it or, if you are not satisfied with the response, you can take steps to escalate your complaint to the Ombudsman for Banking Services and InvestmentsOmbudsman for Banking Services and Investments A national, independent and not-for-profit organization that helps resolve disputes between consumers and financial services firms when they can’t come to a resolution on their own.+ read full definition (OBSIOBSI See Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments.+ read full definition). If you are not satisfied with your firm’s response, you have 180 days from the date you received the response to make a complaint to OBSI.
  • If your firm fails to provide its response to you within 90 days, you may also take your complaint to OBSI.
  • You can take legal action against your firm but if you commence legal action, and your matter is before the court, OBSI will no longer be able to investigate your complaint.
  • For more information, read the article, Make a complaint: getting your money back

Watch a video about OBSI here.

Make a complaint: reporting wrongdoing

If you believe that an individual or firm has broken securities laws, acted fraudulently or otherwise acted improperly, always report it to the OSC. For more information, read this article: Making a complaint: reporting wrongdoing

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