Decision #22817-896Q203

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

File: 22817-896Q203

Compliance issue

Branch Closure — Failure to notify Commissioner within the required time of a closure
Bank Act, s. 459.2
Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations, ss. 4(1)(a)(i), 5(2)

A bank failed to notify the Commissioner at least four months before the proposed date of a branch closure as required by subparagraph 4(1)(a)(i) of the Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations.

The bank also failed to provide customers and the public with at least four months advance notice of the closure, as required by subsection 5(2) of the Regulations.

Compliance measure(s) taken

A Letter of ReprimandFootnote 1  noting two violations against the bank.

Compliance considerations

The violation was self-reported by the bank several months after the original Notice to Commissioner was due. The violation was discovered as the result of an extensive self-examination of the bank’s internal branch closure processes and procedures. This self-examination was undertaken as a result of a failure to meet the legislative requirements for another branch closure, which had been brought to the bank’s attention by FCAC. Since the closure of the branch identified in this case, the bank has put new processes and procedures in place to ensure compliance with the Regulations. The bank indicated they had not received any complaints relating to this branch closure. FCAC also did not receive any complaints or requests for a public meeting relating to this closure.

Corrective measures taken by financial institution

  • New processes and internal procedures were in place by the time this violation was discovered and self-reported.
  • The bank had previously sent reminder notices to all divisional and district executives reminding them of the legislative obligations under the Regulations. FCAC’s brochure, What you should know if your branch closes, was included with the reminder notices.

Outcomes

By ensuring that the Commissioner is made aware of all branch closures, FCAC is able to monitor proactively to make certain that consumers have been provided adequate notice of the branch closure and have received all of the information required. When consumers are given sufficient notice of a branch closure, they are in a better position to make informed choices and find alternatives to their current banking services. By making certain that consumers are aware of their rights, FCAC and the financial institution ensure consumers have the opportunity to communicate openly with their bank and explore ways of easing any negative impact the closure may have on their lives and on the community as a whole.

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