Superintendent’s Cover Letter to Directive No. 33, Trustee Designation and Advertising

Questions or Complaints?

Questions relating to the Directive should be sent to the OSB Regulatory Affairs team. Any case of misrepresentation or non-compliance with the Directive should be referred to OSB’s Service Centre at the following phone number: 1-877-376-9902.

Date: December 2, 2015

To: Licensed Insolvency Trustees and Registrars

Subject: Directive No. 33, Trustee Designation and Advertising

The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) has issued a new Directive on Trustee Designation and Advertising. The objective of the Directive is to ensure that Canadians can recognize and easily identify individuals who are licensed by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy to provide services under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA), in order to facilitate informed choices about statutory options to address debt problems. The requirements of the Directive have been informed by public consultation and stakeholder input.

The main components of the Directive are:

  • Adoption of “Licensed Insolvency Trustee” (LIT) as the professional designation used by the OSB to identify trustees;
  • To facilitate the identification of trustees by establishing requirements for the use of the professional designation; and,
  • The establishment of requirements and professional standards that apply to advertising by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

Specific Elements

Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT)

All trustees holding a valid licence issued by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy are obliged to use the professional designation pursuant to the requirements of the Directive.

  • The term “Licensed” facilitates public identification of professionals who are legally authorized to provide services under the BIA and who are subject to regulatory oversight by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.
  • The term “Insolvency” encompasses statutory options available under federal insolvency legislation, including both bankruptcies and proposals.
  • The term “Trustee” is the term used in the BIA to define a person licensed under the BIA.

Requirement to Use the Professional Designation

To facilitate identification and recognition by the public, the Directive provides for comprehensive and consistent use of the professional designation by trustees, both in official representations and all consumer advertising.


As the professional designation “Licensed Insolvency Trustee” has been adopted and used as intellectual property of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, a request for public notice of the use of the designation as an Official Mark of a public authority has been made to the Registrar of Trade-marks. The Directive describes significant legal consequences that can result from misrepresentation and/or unauthorized use of the term. A licensed trustee is required to sign a consent agreement regarding terms of use of the professional designation.

Professional Standards

Consistent with requirements in other regulated professions, the obligation to adhere to professional standards in all communications and advertising is intended to protect the integrity of the insolvency profession and guard against undesirable practices in the marketplace.

Coming into Force and Transition

In order to support efficient implementation, the Directive will take effect on April 1, 2016. The Directive permits use of the designation “Licensed Insolvency Trustee” prior to the effective date upon completion of a consent agreement along with the continued use of “Trustee in Bankruptcy” in a manner otherwise consistent with the provisions of the Directive during a transitional period.


William R. James
Superintendent of Bankruptcy