- Avoid participating in an interview without
- Make a list of everything you want to
say and make sure you say it whether you are asked about it or not.
- Ensure you have your key documents and
files with you.
- Ask for a list of questions the
investigator intends to ask so you are properly prepared. If they refuse,
ask why. If you have an Intervenor (someone who’s familiar with the
complaint process and willing to provide support), consult with them before
participating in an interview.
- Have a friend participate with you to
take notes and act as a witness. Ask if you can record the interview.
- Don't allow the investigator to put
words in your mouth.-ask if conversation is being recorded. If so, ask for a
copy of the recording.
- Don't let them cross-examine you. Being
a victim of financial assault is enough pain. After you have provided an honest
response, it’s best to remain silent.
- Don't think that they are your friend,
and get lulled into a false sense of security –investor advocates have
provided lots of evidence that the system is biased against you
- Do not answer questions you do not
believe are relevant to your case. Try to clarify why the question is
being asked. Assume anything you say, can and will be used against you.
- If you have provided documents or information
to the investigator, ask if they have been provided to the Firm. If they
have, you may have the right of reciprocity- obtaining internal documents
the Firm has provided to the investigator.
- You do not have
to answer every question asked. If you don’t recall something, say so. If
you want to check your files before responding, say you will get back to
the investigator after you’ve checked the facts.
- If inconvenient,
impossible (e.g. hospitalized, infirm) or too expensive for you to travel (travel
costs, lost time at work), ask for a conference call or a meeting location
suitable to you.
- If you feel like
your undergoing an interrogation, you feel your integrity is being
challenged or the investigator is disrespectful, report this to senior
management of the Firm.
- If the Firm has
been unable or unwilling provide you with personal documents [NOTE 1] ask
the regulator or OBSI to assist you in obtaining them. These documents may be of great
importance to you to help you make an informed decision as to whether to
accept or reject any recommendation the Firm may make to you, with regard
to a possible settlement of your complaint. Without them, you could be
placed in a disadvantageous position.
- Resist paying
any fees for these documents. If you are forced to pay, ask the investigator
to include these expenses in any Decision so you can be reimbursed if your
complaint is validated.
- Watch out for trick
questions. For example in one case, the investigator asked if the complainant
had taken any courses in investing. She said “Yes”. This was used against
her in a subsequent trial. It turns out the course was in fact a 2-hour
seminar on RRIF’s, eight years earlier. In another case, the investigator was able to extract information
about the growth in assessed value of
a complainant’s home over time, thus
increasing his Net Worth ; a figure that can be used ( or abused) to demonstrate suitability.