Case Studies

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Senior with early signs of dementia gets into more than $68,000 of debt

Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Key Lesson: 

Banks will not restrict a person’s access to their own money and credit until they have the required legal documentation to transfer control to someone else. It is important for everyone, but especially seniors, to plan ahead for how their finances will be taken care of if they need help.   

If a parent, relative or friend is no longer able to manage their finances and have trusted you to help: 

  • Set up a meeting with...

lowball offer

Investor incurs significant losses from unsuitable advice and excessive trading and accepts low settlement offer

Posted Monday, May 11, 2020

Key Lesson

OBSI is committed to conducting impartial investigations and recommending fair outcomes for both firms and consumers. When consumers escalate their complaints to OBSI, firms are obligated to participate in our process in good faith. Most firms do so and treat their customers fairly by complying with OBSI recommendations. However, sometimes firms choose not to comply and when that happens, consumers who have incurred losses have limited options and may accept unfair low...

fee payment structure

Consumer alleges online investing app misled her about margin borrowing and interest obligations

Posted Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Key lesson

Consumers who open online investing accounts (also known as discount brokerage or “order execution only” accounts) are responsible for reviewing all account agreement terms and conditions, making their own trades, and monitoring their account activity.

Do-it-yourself investing

In early 2019, Ms. C opened an investment account at Firm K, an online broker, using the firm’s mobile app. Choosing to invest with an online broker meant that Ms. C was responsible...

investment suitability

High-risk exempt market securities unsuitable for older investor with limited assets

Posted Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Key learnings:

  • High-risk, illiquid investments are not suitable for low-to-medium risk, semi-retired or retired consumers with limited financial assets who rely on their investments to supplement their retirement income.

Consumer makes risky investing decisions

In December 2010, Ms. R was 60 years old, had been retired since 2008, and had been divorced for several years. Between 2008 and 2010, her annual income averaged $17,500. She owned her home that was valued at $352,000 and...

student loan

Consumers are not responsible for the cost of administrative errors

Posted Thursday, December 19, 2019

Key learnings

  • All borrowers are responsible for ensuring that they review and understand their loan instructions for repayment and follow them.
  • If consumers have complaints about their loans, refusing to make a payment is never a good way to fix the problem.
  • Financial consumers should be able to rely on the loan balances clearly and repeatedly communicated to them by their financial service providers.

In September 2004, Mr. D returned to school with the intention to complete his studies...

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