2.4.3 Making complaints

Financial institutions must have a way for customers to make complaints and have them heard. You can resolve most complaints by working through the following steps in order:

Step 1: Your local branch

Try to resolve any problems directly with a customer service representative or the manager of your financial institution.

If you need to discuss a complaint:

Step 2: Senior level or internal ombudsman

If you can't resolve your complaint at the local level, you can ask to have it reviewed by a senior staff member or an impartial internal ombudsman.

Step 3: Third-party review

If you feel a financial institution is not living up to its responsibilities, in most cases you can have your complaint reviewed by an independent third party, called an external ombudsperson.

For banks or federal trust companies, you can contact the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) or other dispute-resolution bodies. A non-binding review is available to any individual or small business with a complaint. For more information, phone 1-888-451-4519 or go to the OBSI website.

Provinces and territories have similar procedures for resolving complaints about credit unions, caisses populaires and provincially chartered trust companies. To contact your provincial or territorial regulator, consult the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada page on Federal oversight bodies and other regulators.

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