Article September 29, 2021

Consultation underway: Regulation Respecting Complaint Processing and Dispute Resolution in the Financial Sector

Members who are interested in how complaints are processed are invited to submit their ideas, testimonials and comments about the above directly to the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) by November 8, 2021. The regulation will come into effect in the coming months.

This draft regulation for comment published by the AMF is in keeping with its aim of standardizing and reinforcing fair complaint handling in Quebec's financial sector. It sets requirements inspired by national and international principles on the fair treatment of consumers and takes into consideration comments made by members of the AMF's various advisory committees as well as many stakeholders from the financial sector. 

The rules and practices proposed in the draft regulation require, among other things, that financial institutions, financial intermediaries and credit assessment agents enter any complaints they receive in their complaints register without delay.

The draft regulation also indicates the minimum documents and information to include in this register and in the complaint record that must be created. It should be noted that financial intermediaries must also offer a complaint drafting assistance service to any person who expresses a need for it.

The regulation stipulates that all complaints must be processed quickly and efficiently within no more than 60 days of their receipt, with no possibility of an extension. The 60 days is calculated from the moment the financial institution, financial intermediary or credit assessment agent receives the complaint and ends when a final response is communicated to the complainant.  

The AMF is aware that certain complaints can be resolved more quickly than others, some within days of their receipt. The draft regulation thus proposes a simplified means of processing and resolving such complaints.

Finally, the document lists the steps financial intermediaries should take in adopting a complaint processing and dispute resolution policy, namely: 

✓ Establish a complaint handling process

✓ Teach staff how to apply the process

✓ Designate a complaints officer and establish this person’s duties

✓ Assign complaints to the staff charged with handling complaints

✓ Periodically report on the complaints handled

Don’t forget that the deadline for submitting comments to the AMF is November 8, 2021.