Consumers Council of Canada has published a public discussion paper, concerning the need for single fair, independent and impartial dispute resolution provider for banking services.
Currently banks choose their own provider. The discussion paper's authors call on the federal government to take immediate action to protect Canadian consumers by changing this policy and designating the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments as the exclusive alternative dispute resolution provider for Canadian banks. In addition, the discussion paper suggests OBSI be granted statutory authority to make binding recommendations.
Points made in the paper, among others are:
Consumers are best served by a single, not-for-profit, independent dispute-resolution service such as OBSI. Conflict free and neither appointed by nor subject to consumer nor industry interests, OBSI would help re-establish and promote public confidence and trust in Canada’s financial system.
The recently announced decision by ScotiaBank to leave OBSI for ADR Banking Ombudsman, serves to undermine confidence and trust.
Scotiabank’s stated reasons for leaving OBSI do not hold up to scrutiny, and why.
A single, independent, not-for-profit service like OBSI is not only better for consumers in terms of providing the appropriate degree of objectivity and impartiality, it provides an important public service.
A strong case exists for a single, not-for-profit, independent dispute-resolution service, with that provider being OBSI.