Responsibilities of Financial Institutions
The following outlines the Commission’s expectations as regulator with respect to the manner in which complaints should be handled by regulated financial institutions. Please note this represents the minimum requirements and does not prevent financial institutions from instituting enhanced policies and procedures. These requirements supplement Guidelines Nos. 1, 3 and 4 issued to regulated entities engaging in Securities, Domestic Insurance and to Credit Unions respectively.
- A regulated entity must have in place an internal Complaints Handling Policy Manual for the proper handling of complaints.
- The procedure should include appropriate management controls to:
- Entities should ensure their complaints-handling procedure is written in plain English in a manner which is easily understood.
- ensure complaints are handled transparently, competently, impartially and consistently;
- identify and remedy systemic or recurring problems; and
- ensure the details and outcome of complaints are recorded and maintained appropriately.
- Complaints-handling procedures should be made widely available to clients (e.g. via company website, notices etc.).
- Regulated entities should undertake an appropriate analysis of patterns of complaints to investigate whether complaints are isolated or a widespread issue.
- Entities should inform individuals wishing to make a complaint about their internal complaints procedure and should refer persons to the assigned complaints person.
- The assigned person should record the complaint, requesting relevant details and documentation.
- The complainant should receive an acknowledgement of his/her complaint within five (5) days of receipt.
- A complaint should be settled within a reasonable timeframe. Entities should provide a written explanation to the complainant when unable to provide a final response in a timely manner.
- Entities should maintain a report of complaints received, which should be made available to the Commission upon request (Pursuant to section 1.4 in Guideline No.4 Credit Unions shall submit a copy of such records to its Board of Directors on a regular basis and annually to the Commission) The report should include the following information:
- the total number of complaints received within a period of time;
- a breakdown by type of complaints received;
- the number of complaints settled and the type of settlement reached; and
- the number of complaints not resolved.