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.
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.
Keep in mind that FCAC doesn’t resolve individual disputes and doesn’t provide redress or compensation.
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.
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:
- the pricing of products
- lending policies
- billing disputes
- the quality of service you received
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 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.
What does FCAC do with your complaint
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 complaints 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 also 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.
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