How to file a complaint with a federally regulated financial institution

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

All banks, retail associations and federal trust, loan and insurance companies must, by law, have a complaint-handling process in place for consumers.

If you have a complaint or a problem with a federally regulated financial institution (FRFI), you can take the following steps to resolve it.

Step 1: Local level

First, you should try to resolve the problem directly with the manager or customer service representative of your FRFI. This would involve dealing with branch staff or the branch’s local representative. 

Step 2: Senior level or internal ombudsman 

If your complaint cannot be resolved at the branch or local level, it may be referred to a senior staff member or an internal ombudservice. 

Step 3: Third-party review

If your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you can have it reviewed by a third party or an external complaints body (ECB). This service is non-binding and is available to any individual or small business with a complaint.

Find more information about your rights and responsibilities related to external complaint bodies.

Provincial regulator 

In some cases, depending on the type of financial institution you deal with, you may also contact your provincial regulator or call the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) toll-free at 1-866-461-3222.

Find more information about provincial regulators across Canada.


Part of FCAC's role is to ensure that financial institutions have a complaint-handling process in place.

Contact FCAC if you can't find information about your FRFI's complaint-handling process or if you're experiencing delays when using it.  

However, please keep in mind that FCAC does not provide redress or compensation and cannot get involved in individual disputes.

Learn more about how FCAC handles complaints. ​​

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