CSA, IIROC and the MFDA have released a joint notice, Complying with requirements regarding the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments.

The notice highlights concerns about some registered firms’ complaint handling systems and participation in OBSI’s services, and sets out potential regulatory responses.

In the notice, the regulators say that, though OBSI’s compensation recommendations aren’t binding on firms or clients, refusals to follow those recommendations can “sometimes be a risk-based indication of problems with a firm’s complaint handling practices.”

Read: Bank customers reimbursed $10.5M, finds FCAC

The notice also outlines staff’s concerns about the use of an internal ombudsman as part of complaint handling systems.

“In some cases, it appears that clients are not being given the clear option of using OBSI’s services in the timeframes contemplated by NI 31-103 and applicable SRO rules,” says the notice.

In a release, the regulators say they continue to consider options for strengthening OBSI’s ability to secure redress for investors, a key recommendation made in a 2016 independent evaluation report.

Read the full notice.

Also read:

OBSI’s new website ready for client complaints

Investor complaints up 17% in 2016: OBSI