What Happens When You File a Complaint?

When you file a complaint or submit a tip to the British Columbia Securities Commission, someone in the Enforcement division may contact you to learn more. You can provide this information over the phone, email, or in-person.

If the information relates to a matter we are aware of, it will be referred to the investigator working on that file.

The Enforcement division’s Case Assessment Branch reviews complaints to determine the appropriate action. Case Assessment may refer the matter to another branch within the Enforcement division for investigation.

How does BCSC Enforcement handle cases?

Types of Investigations: Administrative and Criminal

Administrative Investigations

The BCSC’s administrative investigators can require people to provide evidence for the investigation.  They can summons and interview witnesses and demand records and information.

Administrative investigations may result in a hearing before a BCSC panel, which is like a trial. Hearing panels hear evidence and arguments to decide if there has been any misconducct.

BCSC panels can ban a person from trading securities and from directing or managing a company. They may also issue fines. Administrative cases cannot result in jail time.

Criminal Investigations

BCSC criminal investigators cannot require people to provide evidence or information.  They may use search warrants or production orders issued by the Court to require people to provide information.   They may also obtain information voluntarily.

BCSC criminal investigators refer cases to Crown Counsel who can approve charges and prosecute cases in court.

If a person is found guilty in a criminal proceeding, they can be sent to jail.

How to File a Complaint or Submit a Tip to the BCSC

If you’re concerned about a person or company offering an investment, contact us immediately.

You can reach the BCSC in the following ways:

  • Over the phone at 1-800-373-6393
  • An email to [email protected]
  • Filling out the online Report a Concern form
  • Sending a letter or package in the mail

Learn more about filing complaints

Suggested Reading

In your community – October 2013

Preventing elder financial abuse and investment fraud

Back to School Series Part 1: Financial Goals

More Resources

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