How FCAC handles your complaint

FCAC supervision of federally regulated entities

As part of its mandate, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) investigates complaints about federally regulated financial institutions. These include banks, federal credit unions, authorized foreign banks, insurance companies, and trust and loan companies.

FCAC also investigates complaints about external complaints bodies (ECBs) and payment card network operators (PCNOs).

FCAC doesn’t investigate complaints about financial institutions that fall under provincial jurisdiction. FCAC also doesn’t supervise provincially regulated credit unions, finance companies, mutual fund dealers and securities dealers. 

Find a list of provincial and territorial regulators.

Types of complaints FCAC deals with

Federally regulated financial institutions must comply with certain obligations when they deal with consumers. For example, when opening a bank account, they must provide information that is clear, simple and not misleading. These are known as market conduct obligations.

FCAC investigates complaints about financial institutions that relate to possible breaches of market conduct obligations. This can be a breach of a law, regulation, code of conduct or public commitment. Any consumer can file a complaint about a federally regulated financial institution with FCAC at no cost.

Please keep in mind that FCAC is not a dispute resolution agency and cannot act on your behalf to contact your financial institution.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada does not resolve individual disputes and does not provide redress or compensation.

Find the complaint-handling process for your financial institution to resolve your issue.

FCAC monitors issues raised by merchants under the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada (the Code). FCAC also monitors the implementation of the Code by PCNOs and supervises PCNOs to determine if they comply with the Payment Card Network Act.

Learn more about merchant questions and dispute resolution in the credit and debit card industry.

Matters FCAC doesn't deal with

FCAC investigates complaints about financial institutions that relate to possible breaches of market conduct obligations.

FCAC doesn’t investigate complaints that involve business issues, for example: 

These issues fall under your financial institution’s business policies. In these cases, you use the financial institution’s complaint-handling process. All federally regulated financial institutions must provide a complaint-handling process that includes access to an independent complaints body.

What FCAC does with your complaint

If you have an issue with your financial institution, you may report your complaint to FCAC. FCAC will ask for details about your complaint to help determine if it falls within its mandate. For instance, whether the complaint is about an entity FCAC supervises and whether the complaint relates to the entity not meeting a market conduct obligation.

FCAC uses information from your complaint to identify and address situations when federally regulated financial entities don’t comply with their obligations under law, regulations, codes of conduct or public commitments.

FCAC reports to Parliament on the number and types of complaints it receives. This includes reporting on the performance of federally regulated financial institutions, ECBs and PCNOs in meeting their market conduct obligations. 

Complaints also help FCAC monitor and evaluate trends and issues that have an impact on consumers of financial products and services.

Learn more about the Supervision Framework.

What to do if you have a problem with your financial institution’s complaint-handling process

You may not be satisfied with the resolution your bank (including federal credit unions) or authorized foreign bank offers. In that case, you may take your complaint to the external complaints body your bank or authorized foreign bank is a member of. You may also take your complaint to the external complaints body if you have not received a proposed resolution within 56 days.

You may not be satisfied with the resolution your trust, loan or insurance company offers. In that case, you can take your complaint to the independent complaint-handling organization they are a member of. You may also take your case to the independent complaint-handling organization if you have not received a proposed resolution within 90 days.

If you can’t find your financial institution’s complaint-handling process, you can contact FCAC.

See a summary of the complaint-handling process. (PDF, 107 KB)

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