The Commission has the authority to investigate and adjudicate all complaints lodged with it under section 49 of the Act.
The staff of the Commission reviews and investigates all complaints and tips related to the securities industry, including but not limited to those made against registrants (broker-dealers, investment advisers, underwriters, and reporting issuers) Complaints must be made in writing. Upon receipt of a complaint or tip, the staff of the Commission may decide that further investigation is warranted, if the actions of these individuals or companies suggest a possible breach or possible breaches of the Act. Upon completion of an investigation, including the provision of legal advice (internal and external), staff of the Commission will make a recommendation to the Board which may include convening a hearing, if staff is of the opinion that the individual or company against whom a complaint was made, has contravened or is contravening the Act.
SEC Complaint Procedure
Q. What is the first step in lodging a complaint regarding any aspect of the securities market?
Step 1: Make your complaint to the company
You should make your complaint in writing to the company concerned.
If you have a problem with an investment product you have purchased or the service that you have received, you are entitled to complain and receive some form of redress.
As an investor you have the right to:
- Receive a clearly defined process for raising and resolving complaints;
- Receive information about alternatives available to you if the firm is unable to resolve a dispute to your satisfaction.
Step 2: Get the company’s response to your complaint in writing
If you are dissatisfied with the company’s response to your complaint or if you are unable to resolve your complaint with the company you should request a letter from the company stating its final position on your complaint. You should also make a note of any persons at the company with whom you discussed the matter. Go to Step 3.
Step 3: Lodge a complaint with the Commission
The Commission has the authority to investigate complaints in respect of the securities industry and models its procedures on best practices in developed securities markets.
The procedure for lodging a complaint:
- You can download the complaint form in PDF and submit via:
- Fax to 627-0600 or 624-2995 or
- Post to the address below:
Director, Market Regulation and Surveillance
Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission
57-59 Dundonald Street
Port of Spain
- Write a summary of your problem while ensuring that all of the key elements relevant to your complaint are provided in as clear a manner as possible.Provide copies of all supporting documents. If you are mailing in your complaint please attach a photocopy of all documents, including letters, contracts, invoices and any other papers related to your problem. Whilst we will need to see your original documents for verification we will keep the photocopies for the purposes of the investigation.
- Investigations are usually non-public and kept confidential.
Note: The online or PDF versions of the Complaint Form can also be used to submit a “tip” for review by the staff of the Commission.
Step 4: The Commission will review your written complaint
- The Commission will acknowledge your complaint. The letter will provide you with a reference number which you will need to quote when contacting our offices.
- The Commission has the authority to investigate the complaint if the person has been aggrieved by any act of any individual or company falling under the Act.
- Once the investigation is complete, the Commission may take a decision on the matter and may make such order as it thinks just in keeping with section 49(4) of the Act.
Tips for Making an Effective Complaint
The key to making an effective complaint is to clearly define the problem and what you see as the optimal outcome. Some complaints may be resolved quickly. More complex complaints may take longer. For best results follow the steps listed below:
Gather your facts:
Think about the problem and the result that you want. Write down the events that led to the grievance in the order that they occurred. Note the name of the firm, the accounts and securities involved, the name of the person with whom you dealt, key dates and the circumstances surrounding the issue.
Put together a file of any supporting documents. Include copies of application forms, statements, transaction confirmations, cancelled cheques, agreements, certificates and all relevant correspondence to and from the firm. Never mail the originals of any documents. You will be required, however, to bring the originals into our offices along with the photocopies to substantiate the documents.
Persons who live outside the jurisdiction of Trinidad and Tobago may follow the same process; however, they must also be prepared to come into the offices of the Commission to provide testimony and other oral evidence as required.
All steps taken to have the matter resolved with the individual or company under the Act should be documented by the person wishing to lodge a complaint with the Commission. This should include telephone conversations, e-mails and faxes. Keep a log of the times and dates of phone calls, to whom you spoke and what was discussed. Communicate in writing as much as possible and keep copies of all correspondence.
- If the Commission considers that your matter falls within the jurisdiction of another government organization, regulator or agency, in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago or elsewhere, the information would be sent to that other government organization, regulator or agency.
- If you are concerned about transmitting confidential or sensitive information to the Commission over the internet, please print and mail this form to us.
- The information you have provided will be treated in confidence and will not be disclosed except as required by law or as may be necessary to investigate your complaint.