How can I become a financial sector professional ?
The Autorité des marchés financiers
is the entity in charge of issuing the practise's rights. It will give you all the information on the skills required and the steps to follow to get your right to practise in the sectors or registration categories of your choice. Call the AMF at 1-877-525-0337 or visit its website at www.lautorite.qc.ca
, “a future professional” section.
What is a financial needs analysis (FNA) ?
A financial needs analysis is a document that an insurance professional must prepare before he has his clients take out an insurance policy. A FNA must contain all the information required by the Regulation respecting the pursuit of activities as a representative. It must include the policies the client holds, their features, the name of the insurers and any other necessary information such as income, financial balance sheet, number of dependents, personal and family obligations, etc.
The professional is obliged to complete a FNA, and it is recommended that it be regularly updated (once a year or each time an important event occurs in the client’s life such as marriage, death, birth, career change, etc.).
What is an investor profile ?
Just like a FNA, an investor profile must be completed before securities are purchased. It must include the client’s age, occupation, annual income, net worth, level of investment knowledge and investment goals.
There is no set time for updating an investor profile, but we recommend an annual update as per industry practice.
How can I check whether my financial sector professional is a member of the Chambre de la sécurité financière ?
The professionals duly authorized to act in the disciplines and registration categories under the surveillance of the Chambre de la sécurité financière are automatically members of the Chambre.
The register thus contains the coordinates of some 32.000 members of the Chambre who work in the disciplines and registration categories under its overseeing.
Maintained by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) on its website, this register allows the public to check whether a person or a business is entitled to pursue activities in the financial products and services sector.
To access the register, click here.
I am dissatisfied about my representative’s work. What can I do?
- If you are concerned or unhappy with your representative’s work: try to obtain details from the representative on the products he or she sold you. Explain what it is you are not happy with.
- Review your financial situation as well as your financial expectations or goals with him or her. Review your financial needs analysis (for insurance product) or your investor profile (for securities). The additional information provided by both parties will probably be enough to improve the situation.
- If you are still not happy, you can approach the firm your representative is associated with to try to speak with another representative or the firm’s manager.
- If the above steps have not yielded results, complete the Request for investigation Form, and send it to the Chambre de la sécurité financière.
What is the course of an investigation?
The investigation process begins with the receipt of a request from a consumer, consumer protection organization, a representative who is a Chambre member, firms in the financial products and services industry or the Autorité des marchés financiers. The Chambre’s syndic can also institute an investigation at his own discretion.
If there are adequate grounds, the syndic’s staff contact those involved in the file to gather information. All relevant documentation and statements are collected and the investigation occurs in complete confidentiality.
Subsequently, the results of the investigation are submitted to the syndic, who then decides whether or not to bring the matter before the Chambre’s Disciplinary Committee (known as filing a disciplinary complaint), depending on the seriousness of the infraction or the level of evidence available. Administrative measures may still be taken even though the representative is not charged with anything.
If the matter is brought before the disciplinary committee, the latter hears the parties’ evidence and rules on the representative’s culpability and imposes appropriate sanction, if needed.
What is the disciplinary process?
The disciplinary process is usually conducted as follows:
- Following an investigation, the syndic lodges a written complaint to the Disciplinary Committee.
- The Committee’s secretary serves the complaint on the representative.
- The representative appears in writing to declare whether or not he’s guilty.
- If the representative pleads guilty, the Committee usually holds one hearing to determine guilt and settle on a penalty.
- If the representative pleads not guilty, the Committee holds one hearing to decide the issue of guilt.
- The burden of proof to establish the representative’s guilt rests with the syndic.
- The Committee, at the end of the hearing and its deliberations, records its decision in writing and shows cause.
- If the representative is found guilty, a subsequent hearing is held to determine penalties.
- The representative may appeal the Disciplinary Committee’s decision before the Court of Quebec within 30 days after the decision is served.
Who can attend a hearing ?
Hearings are public and anyone can attend. The schedule of the roll of hearings is available here
or under the heading “Ethics and Discipline / Disciplinary Committee”.