New measures to protect bank customers came into force on Thursday, after the Federal Government fulfilled its 2018 commitment to put in place a new framework to protect consumers of financial products and services.
In addition to more ethical sales practices, the new regulations impose higher standards on banks and require them to take greater responsibility for the results obtained by their customers.
Among the measures, banks must investigate complaints from their customers within 56 days of their receipt, a national first, and send electronic alerts to prevent customers from exceeding their credit limits.
In addition, financial institutions must provide advance notice to customers for renewal or cancellation of their products and services and provide them with a separate agreement for each product or service.
Under the new measures now in force, bankers’ remuneration should not affect their ability to comply with the new obligation of banks to offer and sell products and services suitable to their customers.
Bank employees also have the option of reporting wrongdoing to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), the federal agency responsible for overseeing banks.
“Canada’s New Financial Consumer Protection Framework […] will help Canadians manage their money with more confidence and peace of mind,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.
“A New Framework for the Protection of Consumers of Financial Products and Services […] It gives banks greater responsibility for the financial outcomes achieved by their customers,” FCAC Commissioner Judith Robertson said.