Certain principles must guide the representative’s practices regarding access to the client file:

  • An authorized person may have access to information included in a client file kept by the firm, brokerage, company, or independent representative; he cannot be refused this access, except in the specific exceptions listed below.
  • An authorized person may correct incorrect or incomplete information in his client file kept by the firm, brokerage, company, or independent representative, and may also have information that is outdated or unjustified for the purpose of the file removed.

Access to personal information included in a client file is free.

However, the person who keeps the file may require the client to pay reasonable fees for the transcription, reproduction, or transmission of this information.

In this case, the requester must be notified of the approximate amount due before proceeding with the transcription, reproduction, or transmission of the information.

The person who keeps the file that is subject to an access or correction request by an authorized person must follow up this request with diligence, at the latest 30 days after receiving the request.

An access or correction request for the client file can only be considered if it is made in writing by a person who proves their identity as a:

  • Concerned client
  • Client’s legal representative
  • Holder of parental authority even if the minor client has died

The file access request must also be considered when it is from one of the following people:

  • Client’s heir
  • Client’s successor
  • Liquidator of the client’s estate
  • Beneficiary of the client’s life insurance or death benefit

But in these last cases, the communication of the client’s personal information is only possible if this communication involves the requester’s interests and rights.

The information included in the client file may also be communicated without the client’s consent in some situations, which are explained in the section Collection, use, and communication of personal information.

The firm, company, or independent representative may refuse to disclose to a client personal information about him included in his client file when the information disclosure:

  • would likely risk negatively impacting an investigation conducted by an internal or external security service with the goal of preventing, detecting, or controlling crime or breaches of the law
  • would likely risk having an effect on a legal procedure, or
  • would likely reveal personal information about a third party or the existence of such information, and could seriously harm this third party, except if this party consents or if it is an emergency situation because the client’s life, health, or safety is in danger.

The section Personal information provides further details on this concept.