JRC to look at expanding OBSI’s powers

Complaints about banking are up, but investment complaints are down, according to new data from the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI).

Overall complaint volumes were up in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to the same period last year, the industry dispute resolution services reports.

In total, OBSI opened 547 cases in the first three quarters this year, up from 493 cases in same period in 2016. (OBSI’s fiscal year ends Oct. 31, so its third quarter ends July 31).

While overall complaint volumes roses 11% year over year, banking cases jumped 30% to 285 cases this year, versus 219 cases in 2016. Conversely, the volume of investment cases dipped 4.5%, with OBSI opening 262 cases this year, down from 274 cases in 2016.

By region, complaints increased 19% in the Prairie provinces, and 18% in Ontario. Complaints from Quebec were down 10% from the previous year, while complaint volume in British Columbia was flat, OBSI says.

OBSI is taking steps to enhance its processes in order to reduce delays in dealing with complaints, the dispute resolution service notes. As a result of these efforts, the average number of delay days per case “have been reduced by roughly 50% since 2016,” OBSI says in its newsletter.

Starting in November, OBSI will launch a three-month pilot project. The new service aims to “provide firms with information about our experiences and approach to help them to fairly and effectively resolve complaints,” OBSI says.

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