Firm: North East Financial Inc.
Firm’s compliance officer: Anton Ivanov, [email protected]
SECTION 1: POLICY OBJECTIVES
- This policy is in compliance with the provisions set out by the law, the regulators and/or any other regulatory agency and defines the parameters to respect for the free and fair handling of all complaints received by North East Financial Inc., hereinafter “NEF”.
- It is intended to govern the receipt of complaints, the delivery of acknowledgement of receipt and notices to the complainant, the creation of the complaint file, and if necessary, the delivery of the complaint file to the concerned regulator, hereinafter the “regulator”, of the compilation of complaints for the purpose of preparing and filing a report with the regulator.
- This policy applies only to WRITTEN complaints made against NEF by a complainant, and defines the roles and responsibilities of NEF’s management as concerns its advisors who do business with the firm and are the subject of a client complaint and is in compliance with: NEF’s code of ethics for its advisors.
SECTION 2: PERSON IN CHARGE
- The NEF Compliance Officer is in charge of the application of the policy for all of NEF’s services.
- As the person in charge of the application of the policy, the NEF Compliance Officer acts as the representative with the regulatory authorities. He will also train the personnel and provide the personnel with the necessary information in order to comply with this policy.
- In addition to the responsibilities mentioned in article Section 2 article 2, the person responsible for the application of this policy has the following duties:
- To send the acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint to the complainant;
- To deliver the required notices to the complainant;
- To send the file to the regulatory authorities, at the complainant’s request;
- To keep a complaint register; and
- To file an annual report with the regulatory authorities when required.
- The NEF Compliance Officer may delegate the responsibilities mentioned in Section 2 articles 2 and 3 to anyone.
SECTION 3: COMPLAINT
- For the purposes of the policy, a complaint is defined as a written declaration, from a client or any other person acting in the client’s name, expressing a reproach regarding the conduct or business of the firm, its employees or any attached advisor. It must include one of the following three elements:
- The formulation of a reproach by a complainant or
- The identification of potential or real harm to the complainant or
- A request for remedial action.
- Within the meaning of this policy, the following are not considered to be a complaint:
- Any first level consumer communication or informal step aimed at correcting a particular problem, as long as the problem is handled through regular activities and without the consumer filing a formal complaint;
- Judicial or quasi-judicial procedures and alternative dispute resolution procedures;
- Responses received regarding and pursuant to a survey.
- For a complaint to be receivable, it must be made IN WRITING by the complainant or the person acting on his behalf.
SECTION 4: RECEIPT OF THE COMPLAINT
- The consumer, client or complainant who wishes to file a complaint against North East Financial Inc. must do so in writing at the following address: North East Financial Inc., NEF Compliance Officer, 800 Boul. Decarie, Saint-Laurent, QC H4L 3L5
- The consumer, client or complainant who wishes to file a complaint against an advisor must do so, in writing, to the advisor’s address.
- Any NEF employee/advisor/director who receives a complaint against NEF, an advisor doing business with NEF or about the service must forward such complaint to the NEF Compliance Officer immediately.
- The NEF Compliance Officer will forward the complaint, in writing, to the advisor against whom the complaint is intended, within 2 business days of its receipt.
- The advisor is responsible for sending an acknowledgement of receipt to the client within 5 business days of receipt of the complaint, with a copy to the NEF Compliance Officer stating that the complaint has been received and that the client’s allegations are being thoroughly investigated by the firm.
- The acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint must include the following information:
- A description of the complaint received, specifying the damage suffered;
- The name and contact information of the person authorized to handle the complaint;
- A request to send, in the case of an incomplete complaint, the relevant information within 30 days, otherwise the complaint will be deemed withdrawn;
- A copy of the relevant elements of the Firm’s complaint handling policy;
- All details required by the firm in order to examine the complaint and for subsequent communications with the complainant;
- A notice informing the complainant that after the 90 day period following the receipt of his complaint has expired, he is entitled to request that his file be transferred to the regulatory authorities if he is not satisfied with the Firm’s response or the handling of his complaint;
- A notice stating that if necessary, the regulatory authorities can offer mediation services if they deem them necessary and if the parties consent;
- A notice reminding the complainant that mediation is an out of court conflict settlement process in which a third party (the mediator) intercedes with the parties to help them reach a satisfactory agreement;
- A notice informing the complainant that filing a complaint with the AMF does not interrupt the limitation period for his right to resort to the civil law courts;
SECTION 5: CREATION OF A COMPLAINT FILE
- A separate file must be created for each complaint received.
- The file must include the following elements:
- The complainant’s written complaint, including the three elements described in Section 3 article 1;
- The acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint;
- The outcome of the complaint handling process (Section 6 article 1) and
- A copy of NEF’s final response, written and including reasons that was sent to the complainant (Section 6 article 3).
SECTION 6: COMPLAINT HANDLING
- As soon as a complaint is received, the NEF Compliance Officer, or the person he has designated, will begin the investigation.
- The complaint must be handled in a reasonable time frame of 90 days after reception of all documents required for the investigation.
- Once the investigation is completed, the NEF Compliance Officer, or designated person, will send the complainant the final decision in writing and will provide reasons for the decision.
SECTION 7: TRANSFER TO THE REGULATORS
- If applicable, and in the provinces where it is permitted, if the complainant is not satisfied with the final outcome of his complaint or with how the complaint was handled, he may request that NEF transfer his file to the appropriate regulatory authority.
- The complainant may exercise this right only upon the expiry of the maximum time period set out for a final response: in Quebec, one year from the receipt of such response, in the other provinces, the period set out by common law and the regulatory authorities.
- The transferred file includes all of the documents regarding the complaint (Section 5 article 2).
- The NEF Compliance Officer is responsible for the enforcement of the Protection of personal information rules.
SECTION 8: CREATION OF AND UPDATING A REGISTER
- For the purposes of this policy, one complaint register is established for all of NEF’s services.
- The NEF Compliance Officer and/or the person he delegates to this end will be in charge of establishing the complaint register and keeping it up to date.
- Any complaint recorded in the register must respect the definition of the word “complaint” as defamed in Section 3.
SECTION 9: ANNUAL REPORT
- Sixty (60) days after the end of the fiscal year, the NEF Compliance Officer and/or the person he delegates to this end shall file a report with the regulatory authorities indicating the number and nature of complaints received according to categories set forth in the register established by NEF.
SECTION 10: POLICY REVISION
- The NEF Compliance Officer is responsible for revising the present policy and must indicate the date of the amendment and of its approval by the Management of NEF.
Approved on the 11th of January 2016