Decision #45930-688Q204

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

File: 45930-688Q204

Compliance issue

Accounts – Refusal to open due to information on credit file
Bank Act, s 448.1(1)
Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations, s. 4

A bank refused to open a retail deposit account for a consumer because of negative information on his credit file. As set out by the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations, a poor credit history is not sufficient reason for a bank to refuse to open a deposit account for a consumer.

Subsection 448.1(1) of the Bank Act requires banks are members of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and which open retail deposit accounts through a natural person to open an account for consumers who meet the requirements set out in section 4 of the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations.

According to section 4 of the Regulations, consumers can open a retail deposit account if they go to the bank in person and present acceptable identification.Footnote 1 

Compliance measure(s) taken

Letter of ReprimandFootnote 2  noting one violation against the bank.

Corrective measures taken by financial institution

  • Opened the account for the consumer after he came back a second time. The consumer returned to the bank to open the account on his own initiative; he had not been contacted by the bank prior to revisiting the branch.
  • The Branch Manager reviewed the account-opening process with the employee involved in the initial refusal.

Outcomes

As a result of the enforcement of the Regulations, the consumer was able to open an account. The Government of Canada established the Access to Basic Services Banking Regulations because having a bank account is essential to the management of personal finances. Consumers who have access to a bank account are able to participate more effectively in the financial marketplace.

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