A fairer, more cohesive system of third-party dispute resolution for financial services consumers
The system of third-party dispute resolution for financial services consumers in Canada is disjointed, disorganized and favours financial institutions.
Consumers deserve fair, independent, easy-to-access-and-use third-party dispute resolution when the encounter a problem with a financial institution.
Financial institutions have been permitted to dismantle and degrade consumers opportunities to have their problems resolved fairly. Methods of dispute resolutions that started out as a way to avoid costly days of complicated court proceedings, for consumers and businesses alike, are now complex, confusing and invisible.
Dispute resolution involving banks, in particular, has become problematic.
A history of dispute resolution in banking and investments
Consumers Council of Canada prepared a “Consumer Perspectives 360º Report” entitled “Canada’s Banking Dispute Resolution System” which provides some of the history of this issue. [Download: PDF| EPUB] This report helps Canadian consumers understand the history of this important but complex consumer protection issue.
Among steps government can take
- Require a single, regulated independent external provider with a strong governance process.
- Expand the role of the dispute resolver to include transparent reporting to regulators on system problems made apparent by consumer complaints.
- Make precedents set within the dispute resolution process transparent.