FCAC Statement on the Publication of Independent Assessments of External Complaints Bodies

Ottawa (ON)

Statement from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) in response to today’s release of independent evaluation reports on external complaints bodies:

“The impartial and effective handling of complaints contributes significantly to consumer protection and builds consumer confidence in financial institutions and the financial system.

“As required by the Banking Act, the ADR Chambers Banking Ombudsman Office (ADRBO) and the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) have released the final reports of the independent assessments of the exercise of their respective functions and the performance of their duties. Activities. The reports make recommendations for the improvement of the two external complaints bodies (ECBs), while noting the improvements each has made to their processes since the last review. The reports conclude that OBSI met and exceeded regulatory standards and that ADBRO was substantially compliant with regulatory standards.

“The ACFC thanks the independent evaluators, Professor Poonam Puri and Dina Milivojevic, for their work in carrying out these evaluations of the ECBs. FCAC will review the findings and consider the recommendations, as part of its role in overseeing ECBs and handling complaints by financial institutions.

“Improving consumer protection, including the effective handling of complaints, is an ongoing process. FCAC supports the federal government’s announcement in Budget 2022 to establish a single, not-for-profit ECB to handle consumer complaints about banks. This proposed change is in the best interests of Canadians and responds to the findings of FCAC’s 2020 report on the operations of external complaints bodies.

“Consumer protection is strengthened when Canadians have access to a fair and efficient process to address unresolved complaints with their banks. FCAC is committed to working closely with its stakeholders to protect financial consumers and advance their rights and interests, including those related to the handling of complaints.

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Shirlene J. Manley