Under current rules, Canada’s banks can choose from multiple external dispute resolution bodies when customer complaints are escalated. This means firms “compete for banks’ business and [that] puts pressure on them to rule in the banks’ favour,” say three consumer advocate organizations.
To resolve this conflict, there should be a single, not-for-profit ombudsman for the retail banking sector, according to a release from CARP, the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights (FAIR) and the Consumers Council of Canada.
This would better serve consumers, they argue, because people currently “have no say in which provider is used to solve their problem. It makes no sense for consumers to be forced into a situation where they must take their issue to a private, for-profit resolution provider selected by their bank,” the release says.
The three organizations have launched a letter writing campaign to support this initiative.