The inquiry process
The inquiry process begins as soon as the syndic receives a request for an inquiry from a third party; it can also begin on the initiative of the syndic or the assistant syndic.
Upon receiving a request for an inquiry, the team at the syndic’s office gathers the relevant information so it can analyze the situation in an informed manner. To do so, it contacts all the people involved (the representative who is the subject of the inquiry, the complainant, consumers, the financial institutions that issued the financial product(s), as well as the firms or dealers, if necessary). Communications may take place verbally, by telephone or by letter.
The syndic’s team collects all relevant documents, meets with the parties and obtains their version of the facts. The entire process is confidential. At this stage, the representative being investigated is presumed innocent and has not been accused of anything. The driving force behind this process is the search for the truth.
The importance of cooperating with the inquiry, whose objective is to establish the facts, cannot be overemphasized. It involves rigorous work which, depending on the nature of the file, can extend over several months.
Once the inquiry is complete, the syndic analyzes the information and decides whether or not to file a complaint with the CSF’s Disciplinary Committee. If no charges are filed against the representative, the syndic can close the file – for example, if the evidence is insufficient or unfounded or if the syndic does not have jurisdiction over the matter – or impose administrative measures. These measures may consist of a warning letter, a letter of notification, a meeting in order to discuss the improper business conduct or an undertaking by the representative to comply with the rules of ethics.