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Relationship with my advisor

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.

For more information, click here.

 

What is an investor profile?

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. 

Can a financial sector professional charge fees?

Yes but, under the law, the client must be informed of the fees before the mandate is carried out. 

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 CSF.

The register thus contains the coordinates of some 32.000 members of the CSF 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

How can I check whether my financial sector professional was ever imposed penalties?

To verify whether a representative has ever had disciplinary sanction in his or her file, visit the Does he have a disciplinary record? page.

You have a meeting with a financial services professional?

It is your advisor’s job to suggest the best strategies for your situation, priorities and goals. representative you will be meeting, check whether he or she is a member in good standing of the Chambre de la sécurité financière, and whether he or she has all the required certifications for the practice. To check this information, click here.

If you do not have a name, you can do these checks after the meeting.

General questions

How can I become a financial sector professional?

Thinking about taking up a career in the financial products and services industry (e.g.: insurance, securities or financial planning)? We are inviting you to review the profile of the professionals in the financial services industry by clicking here.

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, “Becoming a professional” section.

I want to give someone the power to manage my money. What do I need to do?

We invite you to read the Sample Power of Attorney prepared by the Groupe de travail pour la protection des personnes vulnérables (task force for the protection of vulnerable persons), which clearly explains the scope of a power of attorney. 

Where can I find the CSF's magazines, briefs and annual reports?

The CSF's magazines, briefs, annual reports and other public documents are available in the Media section.

What is the difference between the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) and the Chambre de la sécurité financière?

The AMF regulates the financial products and services industry. It ensures that the Chambre de la sécurité financière fulfills its mission to protect consumers. 

The CSF oversees the representatives’ business ethics and its members’ professional development.

Can I receive the Sécurité financière magazine even though I’m not a member of the Chambre de la sécurité financière?

Sécurité financière magazine is specifically written for CSF members, who receive it free of charge.

Non-members can, however, subscribe at a cost of $45 a year (four (4) issues). Simply fill out the subscription form under the tab “Publications / Sécurité financière Magazine”. 

Unhappy with your advisor?

How do I file a complaint against a professional?

You must complete the Request for investigation Form and return it to the address indicated. 

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 CSF member, firms in the financial products and services industry or the Autorité des marchés financiers. The CSF’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 CSF’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 recourse do I have if I’m not satisfied with the syndic’s decision?

A complainant who is dissatisfied with the syndic’s decision to not bring the case before the Disciplinary Committee may file a private complaint or apply to the Tribunal administratif des marchés financiers.

What is the disciplinary process?

The disciplinary process is usually conducted as follows:

  1. Following an investigation, the syndic lodges a written complaint to the Disciplinary Committee.
  2. The Committee’s secretary serves the complaint on the representative.
  3. The representative appears in writing to declare whether or not he’s guilty.
  4. If the representative pleads guilty, the Committee usually holds one hearing to determine guilt and settle on a penalty.
  5. If the representative pleads not guilty, the Committee holds one hearing to decide the issue of guilt.
  6. The burden of proof to establish the representative’s guilt rests with the syndic.
  7. The Committee, at the end of the hearing and its deliberations, records its decision in writing and shows cause.
  8. If the representative is found guilty, a subsequent hearing is held to determine penalties.
  9. 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”.

I am dissatisfied about my representative’s work. What can I do?
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. If the above steps have not yielded results, complete the Request for investigation Form, and send it to the Chambre de la sécurité financière. 

Continuing education

What is a professional development unit (PDU)?

A professional development unit or “PDU” is the quantitative value attributed to a training activity recognized by the CSF. One (1) PDU represents one (1) hour of training.

How do I register for distance training?

You can find and suscribe to the training activities offered by visiting the Education section.

To register for the mandatory course on compliance, click here.

How do we know if a training activity is recognized by the CSF?

A training activity that is recognized by the CSF has been issued an identification number. The person in charge of the training activity must provide the CSF member with this number. It is possible to check if an activity is recognized by the CSF by contacting the information center. Training activities provided by the CSF are of course recognized.

Can extra PDUs be carried over to the next period?

A representative can carry over up to 5 extra PDUs to the next reference period if the PDUs were accumulated in the last three months of a reference period, between September 1 and November 30 of an odd year. Carrying over extra PDUs must be done by the representative by logging in to their secure PDU record, through the Members’ Area. To do so, the representative must:

  • Open a session in the Members’ Area by entering the certificate number and password
  • Click on “To consult your PDU record, click here”
  • Click on “Carry over PDUs” in the grey banner on top
  • Choose the PDU the member wants to carry over to the next period
How can the member obtain their proof of attending a training activity?

The person responsible for the training activity must give the representative a proof of presence that shows the following:

  • The name of the member
  • Their certificate number
  • The title of the training activity followed
  • The identification number of the training activity
  • The number of PDUs that the CSF recognizes for this training activity
How can a member show the CSF they participated in a training activity?

The member can prove they participated in a training activity and enter the PDUs into their record by entering the proof of presence either:

  • Online in the Members’ Area
  • By fax, at 514-282-3418
  • By email, at ufc@chambresf.com
  • By mail at: Chambre de la sécurité financière, 2000, McGill College avenue, 12th floor, Montréal, (Quebec) H3A 3H3

When the representative saves their activities in the Members’ Area, they must keep any proof of presence to training activities for 24 months following the end of the reference period during which the activity took place.

What consequences will a member face if they do not respect their professional development requirements?

The representative must adhere to their professional development requirements by November 30 of the year in which the reference period ends. Unless being exempted from professional development by the CSF for medical, parental, or family reasons or obtaining during the previous year a licence to practice in a sector or registration category, the member who does not meet their requirements will have their certificate or registration suspended by the Autorité des marchés financiers, for each sector or registration category for which the continuous development requirements were not met.

Is it possible for someone to obtain PDUs before becoming a member of the CSF (before obtaining the certificate that allows the member to work)?

As per the Regulation respecting compulsory professional development, only training activities followed after obtaining the certificate are valid. Courses required to obtain the certificate are not considered to be professional development.

Is there a training activity that is mandatory for members?

Yes. Using a multimedia approach that is dynamic, playful, and interactive, the ProEthics course is mandatory and uses narration, videos, quizzes, and interviews to provide a stimulating training activity. The course is three hours long and does not include an exam. The representative must answer questions throughout the training activity and will receive the appropriate explanations.

For whom is professional development mandatory?

As per the Regulation of the Chambre de la sécurité financière respecting compulsory professional development, every member of the CSF, except financial planners who only operate within the financial planning sector, must meet the regulation’s requirements by obtaining at least 30 PDUs (Professional Development Units). If a member operates within more than one sector or registration category, they will be required to obtain 10 additional PDUs per extra sector or registration category. Financial planners must adhere to the regulations of the Institut québécois de la planification financière for their professional development.

If someone wants to become a representative, what training activities do they need to follow?

In Quebec, the Autorité des marchés financiers oversees professional requirements for new representatives. They must meet certain training requirements to become a representative.

How do you keep track of PDUs?

Mandatory professional development is based on two-year cycles that end on November 30 of an odd year. This date is the same for all representatives and does not take into account the certificate’s date of issue.

Do all members have to follow the mandatory compliance course?

As per the Regulation respecting compulsory professional development, every member of the CSF, except financial planners who only operate within the financial planning sector, must follow every two reference periods a training activity of 3 PDUs that was developed by the CSF and deals with compliance with standards, ethics and business conduct.

Currently, the 3 PDUs from the mandatory course on compliance, ProEthics, will have to be acquired before the end of the 2017-2019 reference period, before November 30, 2019, and will be part of the 10 PDUs required in compliance with standards, ethics and business conduct for a reference period.

How can the member sign up for the mandatory course on compliance?

The member must first follow the ProDéonto course by going to the CSF’s website (www.chambresf.com):

  • Click on “Education” (in the middle of the screen)
  • Choose the appropriate profile in the “Mandatory course on compliance” table by clicking on the cart on the “Add” column
  • Click on “Order”
  • Enter the certificate number and password and click on “Connect”
  • Pay by credit card

Once registered, the member will be able to access the course by clicking on “My training activities” after logging in to the Members’ Area.

 

How can the member enter the PDUs obtained for training activities into his PDU record?

The member can enter the proof of presence to training activities on the CSF’s website through a secure access in the Members’ Area section.

To activate their online member record, the member must go to the Members’ Area page, click on Activate your membership under the yellow authentication square, and follow the instructions.

Once the Member’s Area is activated, the member will be able to access his PDU record.

The member can enter the PDUs by:

  1. Opening a session on the Members’ Area by entering their certificate number and password
  2. Click on “To consult your PDU record, click here”
  3. Click on Enter activities
  4. Enter the identification number of the training activity. The number is listed on the proof of presence issued by the person responsible for the training activity. It contains 11 to 12 characters and is similar to CSF00-00-00000
  5. Enter the date when the training activity took place
  6. Enter your name and specify the PDU category
  7. Click on “Save”

The member can add training activities or delete them if they were erroneously added by mistake. When they have finished entering the PDUs, the member is encouraged to print the page and keep it until the information entered has been transferred to their PDU record. 

It’s important to keep any proof of presence to training activities for 24 months following the reference period during which the activity took place, because the CSF will periodically check with members. Upon request by the CSF, the member must send their proofs of presence within 30 days.

 
Can a member who is having health concerns, who is on pregnancy leave, or who is a caregiver, request an exemption?

The representative who is absent or on leave for at least four (4) consecutive weeks due to illness or an accident, or for family or parental reasons, may be dispensed from mandatory continuous development for the entirety of their absence or leave. To obtain this exemption, the representative must write to the CSF and describe the motives or present written proof or a medical certificate describing their situation. The CSF will communicate their decision in writing to the representative.

For more information, please email the CSF at ufc@chambresf.com.

Can a member who has been given the right to practice by the AMF be exempted from accumulating PDUs?

The member who obtains for the first time an authorization of operating in a sector or registration category is exempt from accumulating PDUs in their sector or registration category during a period of one year following the authorization. The number of PDUs to accumulate after this exemption is calculated in proportion to the number of full months remaining in the current reference period.

To learn more about the number of PDUs the member needs to accumulate, they must contact a professional development agent by telephone (514-380-3011 or 1-888-380-3011), by fax (514-282-3418), or email (ufc@chambresf.com).

General questions

How do I make an address change?

You must advise the Autorité des marchés financiers, which updates the Register of firms and individuals authorized to practise.

You can make your changes by connecting to your account on the AMF on-line services, or by phone at 1-877-525-0337, from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m..

The Chambre de la sécurité financière will then have access to this information through the register.

Your email address is also important. The Chambre de la sécurité financière routinely contacts members via email. It is a quick and easy way to reach all of their members.

You can always change your email address your PDU record that is located in the Members’ area on the website of the CSF.

How do I go about having an ad published in the CSF magazine?

We invite you to consult our rate card. You will also find the contact information of our advertising representative if you need more details. Click here for more information.