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Budget Promises to Overhaul Banking Complaints Process and Appoint FCAC to Reform

Investment Executive | James Langton | Mar 28, 2023

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The federal government has reiterated its pledge to reform complaint handling in the banking sector and tapped the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to lead the process.

  • The current external complaint handling model in the banking sector, allowing banks to choose between the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) and ADR Chambers Banking Ombuds Office (ADRBO), has been criticized for being unfair to consumers.
    • A 2020 review by the FCAC found numerous issues, including falling short of international standards and complexity.
    • That review also raised concerns about “how allowing banks to choose the ECB negatively affects consumers’ perceptions of the fairness and impartiality of the system.” It questioned whether allowing competition in complaint handling benefits consumers.

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Government statement:

All Canadian financial consumers would benefit from a strengthened external complaints system in banking, with additional benefits for lower-income households, as they are generally more at risk of having lower levels of financial literacy and confidence.

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