Decision #47619-035Q103

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

File: 47619-035Q103

Compliance issue

Branch closure - Failure to notify Commissioner within required time

Bank Act, s. 459.2

Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations, s. 4(1)(a)(i)

A bank failed to notify the Commissioner at least four months before the proposed date of two branch closures.

Subparagraph 4(1)(a)(i) of the Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations requires that notice be given to the Commissioner in writing no later than four months before the date proposed for the closure of the branch or the cessation of the activity if the branch is in an urban area.

Compliance measure(s) taken

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

Compliance considerations

Despite the failure to properly notify the Commissioner, the bank properly informed consumers of the branch closure within the required time and fully disclosed to consumers their right to request that the Commissioner order a public meeting. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) considered that the bank did not demonstrate that it took reasonable steps to avoid the internal departmental confusion that led to the violations. There were no prior violations noted against the bank.

Corrective measures taken by financial institution

  • Stated it was an isolated incident that occurred as a result of the Regulations having just come into force.

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 and are aware of the conditions under which the Commissioner can call a public hearing, 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 or on the community as a whole.

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