Decision #63867-205Q205

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

File: 63867-205Q205

Compliance issue

Branch closure — Request to be exempt from the requirement of giving notice of a branch closure, as set out in the Bank Act
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)(a), 8(2)(c)

A bank made a request to the Commissioner to be exempt from providing a written notice of branch closure for one of its closing branches. The branch was to be relocated further than 500 metres, but only an estimated ten metres over the prescribed distance.

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. Subsection 5(2) stipulates that a notice of branch closure must be given to the customers of the branch and to the public no later than four months before the date proposed for the closure of the branch.

Subsection 8(1)(a) of the Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations states that the Commissioner may, at the request of a member bank, exempt the member bank from the requirement to give notice with respect to the closure of a branch.

Subsection 8(2)(c) of the Regulations states that subsection (1) applies if the closure or cessation results from a relocation of the branch, and the travelling distance from the new location to the former location is more than 500 metres but not great enough to substantially affect either the customers served by the branch or the nature of the business of the branch.

Decision taken

The request to be exempt from the requirement of giving a notice of branch closure was granted.

Considerations

The closing branch was relocated further than 500 metres, but only an estimated ten metres over the prescribed distance. A sign announcing the bank as a tenant at the new site was installed seven months prior to the move. The bank also indicated that moving to the new location would not have an impact on the current activities of the branch and would not result in any disruption in service.

The bank indicated that it planned to take the following measures to ease the transition from the closing to the receiving branch:

  • send a communication announcing the new branch location to all of its customers;
  • display posters in the closing branch during the months preceding the move;
  • provide extended hours of service at the new location;
  • keep a bank machine at the closing branch’s location; and
  • provide wheelchair access for customers at the new location.
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