OBSI can help your clients resolve financial disputes

Do you have a client that is involved in a dispute with their financial services firm? If so, the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) is available to help resolve their financial complaints.



What is OBSI?

OBSI is a national, independent, impartial and not-for-profit dispute resolution service for financial services consumers. OBSI resolves disputes between participating banking services and investment firms and their customers if they can't solve them on their own.

This service is free – there is no cost to consumers - and it is available in both official languages.

How can OBSI help my clients?

Last year, OBSI heard over 750 banking and investment cases and returned over $3.4 million in compensation to consumers. Consumers brought forward complaints about their banking and investment matters such as mortgages, mutual funds, bonds and GICs, debit and credit cards, loans and credit, unauthorized trading, transaction errors, fraud, and investment advice.

In addition to helping consumers file a complaint, OBSI’s customer assistance officers help consumers find the most appropriate avenue for their complaint if it is outside of their mandate. OBSI plays an integral part of Canada’s financial services consumer protection framework by helping consumers navigate a complex and often confusing financial system.

Do you or your client have a complaint about a bank or investment firm?

Do you or your client have a complaint with a bank or investment firm? Here are six steps to follow when making a complaint:

  1. First, talk to the firm or the person at the firm that is already handling the issue
  2. Escalate the complaint if you or your client are not satisfied. Most firms have two or three levels to resolve a complaint. The firm has 90 days to help
  3. If the issue cannot be resolved, find out if the firm belongs to OBSI. OBSI can investigate complaints about firms that participate in its service. You can search for participating firms here
  4. Contact OBSI. A complainant has 180 days to bring a complaint to OBSI after the firm has given a final response or 90 days have passed. You can submit a complaint to OBSI here
  5. OBSI will determine right away whether they can investigate a case based on the rules laid out in their mandate. They will then look at the information provided by the complainant and the firm and review the facts of the case
  6. If a firm has been unfair, made a mistake or given bad advice and the complainant lost money because of it, OBSI will recommend that the firm put them back in the financial position that they should have been in. If the firm was fair, or the offer they made was fair, OBSI will let the complainant know

Learn more

For more information about OBSI or their process, please visit www.obsi.ca. You can also follow OBSI on Twitter @Ombudsman_OBSI and on LinkedIn.

About the Author

CPA New Brunswick

We are the Chartered Professional Accountants of New Brunswick (CPA New Brunswick). Our vision is for the Canadian CPA to be the preeminent, globally-respected business and accounting designation.