COVID-19: How FCAC is responding
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is monitoring the rapid evolution of COVID-19 and assessing its impacts on banks and other regulated entities (REs).
We are in regular contact with REs to assess their preparedness and have been updating our information and resources for consumers to help them protect and manage their finances during this difficult time.
Engagement with regulated entities such as banks
We are closely engaged with REs to understand the potential impact of the COVID-19 emergency situation on consumers. We have been encouraging them to find ways to ensure consumers continue to have access to financial services at a reasonable cost and with the safety and security they have come to expect.
A number of REs have demonstrated leadership by providing consumers with assurance that they will find ways to accommodate any temporary financial hardships created by COVID-19, including waiving fees and providing flexibility on certain payments.
As part of their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, banks have adjusted branch hours and instituted some temporary closures. We expect banks to make all reasonable efforts to notify consumers regarding branch closures, and to clearly indicate branch hours and closures on their website.
In light of the current environment, FCAC is reprioritizing its supervisory and regulatory work. We are adjusting our regulatory expectations while maintaining our oversight of consumer protection provisions and will focus our resources on emerging risks and concerns.
Additionally, we recognize that REs will need to reassign and re-prioritize their own internal resources in response to COVID-19. We will work constructively with them to minimize the impact of regulatory requirements on their efforts to deliver services to Canadians.
Support and advice for consumers
Some consumers may be put under financial pressure as a result of COVID-19. If you are facing financial hardships, you should contact your bank or financial service provider promptly to discuss your particular situation and circumstances.
For help in understanding your options, we encourage you to consult our wide range of resources on canada.ca/money, which includes a new resource with advice on managing your finances during this challenging time. We will update this new resource as the situation evolves.
If you have an issue with a financial institution, you have the right to make a complaint by using its complaint-handling process. Consumers can also access information and report a complaint directly with FCAC by calling toll-free at 1-866-461-3222 or using our online form.
FCAC encourages all Canadians to follow the advice of public health experts that can be found by visiting canada.ca/coronavirus.
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