Branch closure – Failure to notify the Commissioner within required time/Failure to include all required information in notice to mayor
Bank Act, s. 459.2
Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations, ss. 4(1)(b), 6(4)(d) and (f) and (g)
A bank failed to notify the Commissioner six months before the proposed date of a branch closure as required by paragraph 4(1)(b) of the Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations. Paragraph 4(1)(b) of the Regulations provides that notice must be sent to the Commissioner within six months before the date proposed for the closure if the branch is in a rural area where there is no retail deposit-taking branch within a travelling distance of 10km from the branch.
The bank also failed to include in its notice to the mayor the address of the receiving branch, information on how to contact the Commissioner, a statement that the Commissioner may require a public meeting between representatives of the bank, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and other interested parties, and the conditions under which he may do so. Under section 6 of the Regulations, additional notice must be given to the mayor, and it must include the address of the receiving branch (paragraph 6(4)(d)), information on how the member bank and the Commissioner may be contacted (paragraph 6(4)(f)) and a statement that the Commissioner may require the member bank to convene and hold a meeting between representatives of the bank, FCAC and interested parties, and the conditions under which he may do so (paragraph 6(4)(g)).
The notices to consumers were sent on time and included all of the required information. Bank representatives met with the Mayor on several occasions to discuss the branch closure.
Corrective measures taken by financial institution
- Modified their mail notification process for branch closures to include faxing a Notice to the Commissioner where required by the Act.
- Modified their templates for notification and letters to Mayor to include all required information.
By ensuring that the Commissioner is made aware of all branch closures, FCAC is able to monitor the closure proactively to make certain that consumers have been provided adequate notice and that they have received all of the information required. Providing consumers with sufficient advance notice and necessary information concerning a branch closure affords them the opportunity to find alternatives to their current banking services. Consumers can use this time and information to communicate openly with their bank and explore ways of easing any negative impact the closure may have on their banking habits or on the community as a whole. It is important that in a rural community the mayor be provided with a notice of the branch closure which includes all the required information so that he or she may act on behalf of their respective community and request, where necessary, a public meeting between interested parties, bank representatives and FCAC to discuss the closure further.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: