CONSUMERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES NEED PROTECTION: THIBEAULT

Government must act now to protect Banking Ombudsman before it’s too late

OTTAWA — New Democrat Consumer Protection Critic Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury) is calling on the government to implement legislation following reports that the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) may be shut down.

OBSI’s Board of Directors has approved a plan for closing its operations unless the government acts now to ensure banks have to use OBSI’s independent dispute resolution mechanism.

“The Bank Ombudsman ensures consumer and small business confidence in the banking system,” said Thibeault. “The government needs to ensure fairness for Canadians, including making sure they have access to an impartial arbitrator if they cannot resolve disputes with their bank.”

This news comes just one day after the Ombudsman released a report stating that it continues to receive calls from TD and RBC customers who cannot have their complaints resolved now that those banks have pulled out of the impartial dispute resolution system provided by OBSI.

“The multiple provider system is already failing Canadians,” said Thibeault. “We urge the government to act now to protect Canadians and stop any lasting damage to the banking system.”