Accounts – Failure to provide written notice of refusal to open a retail deposit account
Bank Act, paragraphs 459.4(a) and (b)
Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations, section 5
In two situations, a bank refused to open a retail deposit account because of a failure to present proper pieces of identification. The bank did not provide the consumers with a written notice of refusal.
Section 5 of the Regulations stipulates that when a bank refuses to open a retail deposit account, it must provide consumers, in writing, with a notice of its refusal to open the account and a statement indicating that the consumer can contact the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) if he or she has a complaint. The letter must also include information on how to contact FCAC.
The Commissioner found the Bank did not commit a violation.
In the first situation, the bank employee, who was new in her position, drew a reasonable inference that the consumer would return with the proper identification to open an account in light of the explanation that had been given by the employee concerning identification requirements.
In the second situation, the bank, on the same day of the incident, contacted the consumer and offered to take a second look at the identification presented. The consumer refused to come back to the bank with the identification and the bank subsequently sent the consumer a notice of refusal.
Measures taken by financial institution
The bank addressed both situations immediately through coaching/training to ensure branch staff understood the requirements of the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations.
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