Checklist of Initial Steps to Take if Your Member Firm Fails

To help you get started, a list of the initial steps that you may wish to take if your firm fails is below.

Getting Started

  1. Check that your account is with a CIPF member firm. A list is here.
  2. Locate and review your most recent account statement.
  3. Identify any recent changes in your holdings that are not reflected on your last account statement, or any discrepancies on the account statement. If there are any recent changes or discrepancies, locate any back-up documentation (for example, directions to your broker to purchase or sell, trade confirmations from the last 30 days).

Find Out the Status of Your Account

  1. A receiver/trustee/or other official is typically appointed by a court to administer the failed member firm. If this official has contacted you, skip to step 6.
  2. If you do not know which insolvency official has been appointed to administer the failed member firm, contact IIROC (the regulator of investment dealers in Canada). You can also check the CIPF website for information. As soon as CIPF becomes aware of this information, we do our best to post it quickly.
  3. Review all communication you receive from the insolvency official.
  4. Contact the insolvency official to get answers to any questions you have about your account.

Transferring Your Account to a New Firm

  1. Since an insolvent firm cannot service your account, your account will need to be transferred. If your account has been transferred by the insolvency official to a new firm, information about the transfer will be communicated to you by the insolvency official. In our experience, you are normally given the choice of where to move your account. In some cases though, the insolvency official may tell you after the transfer has occurred.
  2. Check that all the securities and cash (and any other property) that were in your account at the date of the member firm’s insolvency have been transferred to a new firm for you.
  3. If you did not select the firm where your account was transferred, consider if you now want to transfer your account to a firm of your choice. If so, make arrangements with your new firm to request a transfer. (Note: Some securities may not be transferable to your new firm).
  4. If you had securities or cash (or other property) in your account that have not been returned to you, or transferred to a new account for you, consider filing a claim with CIPF.
  5. Review the CIPF website for information about what is covered and not covered by CIPF, the deadline to file a claim, the form to use, and general information about CIPF coverage.

A Who’s Who for Insolvencies

Insolvency Official - generally, a trustee in bankruptcy or receiver appointed by a court to take over the administration of the insolvent member firm.

IIROC - regulates and enforces rules for investment dealers (member firms) in Canada.

CIPF - works to ensure that property being held for you by a member firm at the time of its insolvency is given back to you, within certain limits. CIPF does not guarantee or protect the value of a security.