Decision #35440-290Q404

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

File: 35440-290Q404

Compliance issue

Branch Closure – Request to vary the time and manner in which a notice is required to be given, when the distance from the new location to the former location is not great enough to substantially affect customers.
Bank Act, s. 459.2(1)
Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations, ss. 4(1)(a)(i), 4(2), 5(1), 5(2), 5(3), 5(4), 8(1)(b), 8(2)(b)(c)

A bank failed to provide complete notice to its customers or the Commissioner within the required timeframe of four months. Following the closure of the branch, the bank submitted a request to vary the time and manner in which the notice must be given.

Subparagraph 4(1)(a)(i) of the Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations states that the notice must be given to the Commissioner in writing, no later than four months before the date proposed for the closure of the branch.

Section 8(1)(b) of the Regulations states that the Commissioner may, at the request of a member bank, vary the manner and time in which the notice is otherwise required to be given, under these Regulations.

Decision taken

The request to vary the time and manner in which the notice is to be given was not granted.

Considerations

The request to vary the time in which notice is to be given was not granted because the request was made after the branch closure had occurred.

Corrective measures taken by financial institution

The bank implemented new branch closure policies.

Outcomes

By making the Commissioner aware of all branch closures in a timely manner, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is better able to monitor such closures proactively, so that consumers receive adequate notice of the branch closures as well as all of the required information. This will enable them 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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