Updated COVID-19: How FCAC is responding
April 9, 2020
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is monitoring the evolution of COVID-19 and continuing to assess its impacts on financial consumers as well as banks and other regulated entities (REs).
We are updating our information and resources for consumers to help them protect and manage their finances during this difficult time, in addition to being in regular contact with REs and monitoring their responses to the crisis.
Engagement with regulated entities such as banks
FCAC has been encouraging REs to find ways to ensure that consumers continue to have access to financial services at a reasonable cost and with the safety and security they have come to expect.
We are adjusting our regulatory expectations of REs in the current environment, while ensuring that they continue to comply with their legislative obligations, voluntary codes of conduct and public commitments. We recognize that REs will need to reassign and re-prioritize their own internal resources in response to COVID-19 and we will work closely with them to minimize the impact of regulatory requirements on their efforts to deliver essential services to Canadians.
Communicating to consumers in a timely manner
In the interest of public health, banks have adjusted branch hours and instituted some temporary branch closures. Banks are also working to offer to consumers interim banking solutions to help meet their banking needs.
As the situation evolves, FCAC expects banks to continue to communicate with consumers in a timely manner about any changes that will impact them.
A number of REs have demonstrated leadership by providing consumers with assurances that they will find ways to accommodate temporary financial hardships caused by COVID-19, including waiving fees and providing flexibility on certain payments.
FCAC will be monitoring the public commitments that banks and other REs are making to accommodate the financial hardships of consumers.
Support and advice for consumers
Some consumers may experience 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.
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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