Consultation on Strengthening Canada’s External Complaint Handling System in Banking

Join in: Open until October 14, 2021

Canada’s federal financial consumer protection rules serve to advance consumers’ rights and interests when dealing with their banks. Effective complaint handling helps ensure that the financial system works efficiently and fairly, thereby enhancing consumer confidence in the system. In 2018, the Minister of Finance asked the Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to review the complaint handling processes in banking and the effectiveness of Canada’s external complaint handling bodies (ECBs). In February 2020, the FCAC published its findings in its report entitled The Operations of External Complaints Bodies.

Our objective

To address the findings of these reports and determine how to further strengthen the external complaint handling system, this consultation provides an opportunity to seek feedback from stakeholders that will help to inform future policy directions.

Key questions for consideration

This consultation paper outlines the objectives, structure, and attributes of a strong and effective ECB system in Canada. Specifically, we want to hear your views on the following:

Who is the focus of this consultation?

We want to hear from financial institutions, external complaint handling bodies, consumer advocates, civil society groups and provincial stakeholders. Interested members of the public are also welcome to provide input relevant to the scope of this consultation.

Participate through email

Due to COVID-19 public health considerations, email submissions are preferred. Send us your comments at with “Strengthening Canada’s External Complaint Handling System submission” as the subject line. Should you wish to provide comments by mail, please direct your submission to the attention of the Financial Sector Policy Branch.

Submissions should be made in plain text or PDF formats. Please include:

What’s next?

Our conversation doesn’t end here. Subject to the considerations below, the Department of Finance Canada intends to make public some or all of the responses received and/or provide summaries in its public documents.

Treatment of confidential information

Information received through this comment process is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Those providing comments are asked to indicate clearly the name of the individual or the organization that should be identified as having made the submission. In order to respect privacy and confidentiality, please advise when providing your comments whether you:

Should you indicate that your comments, or any portions thereof, be considered confidential, the Department of Finance will make all reasonable efforts to protect this information.

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