Branch closure — Failure to notify Commissioner of closure within required time/Failure to include certain prescribed information in notice/Failure to give notice to customers and public within required time
Bank Act, s. 459.2
Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations, ss. 4(1)(a)(i), 5(2), 5(4)(f) and (g)
The bank failed to provide notice to the Commissioner or to the customers and the public four months prior to a branch closure as required. Paragraph 4(1)(a)(i) of the Notice of Branch Closure (Banks) Regulations requires that a bank provide a Notice to the Commissioner at least four months prior to the closing of the affected branch. Subsection 5(2) requires that notices be provided to customers of the branch and the public at least four months prior to the closure date.
When the bank finally issued its notices to customers and the public, the bank did not include all the required information, specifically information concerning how the Commissioner may be contacted and the conditions under which the Commissioner may require a meeting between the bank, interested parties and FCAC to discuss the closure in further detail as required by paragraphs 5(4)(f) and (g) of the Regulations.
The bank quickly took the appropriate steps to correct the situation. Customers had enough time remaining once the notice was sent to exercise their right to request the Commissioner to require a public meeting.
Corrective measures taken by financial institution
- Revised letters containing all the required elements of subsection 5(4) of the Regulations were mailed to affected customers.
- Reprinted posters containing all of the required elements of subsection 5(4) were displayed in a public area of the branch.
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 that they have received all of the information required. When consumers are given sufficient notice of a branch closure 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 the conditions under which the Commissioner can call a public meeting, FCAC and the bank ensure that consumers have the opportunity to communicate openly with their bank to 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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