Banks Commit to Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI)

Banks Commit to Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) 
TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ombudsman for Banking Services and 
Investments (OBSI) today announced that the biggest banks that currently 
participate in its consumer dispute-resolution process - including Scotiabank, 
BMO, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, HSBC Bank Canada, ING Bank of Canada, and 
Laurentian Bank of Canada - have all signed up to remain with OBSI for the 
full 2013 fiscal year. At the same time, several new member banks have joined 
OBSI for the first time, including Merrill Lynch International Bank Limited 
and Mega International Commercial Bank (Canada). Sixty banks now voluntarily 
participate in OBSI, a new record. 
"OBSI is widely recognized as the most credible, impartial and truly 
independent dispute-resolution process in Canada for banks and their 
customers," said Fernand Bélisle, Chair of OBSI's Board of Directors. "By 
committing to OBSI, these banks have demonstrated the high importance they 
place on their customers' experience and satisfaction." 
Today's announcement follows last week's proposal by the Canadian Securities 
Administrators (CSA) to significantly expand OBSI's investment mandate to 
include portfolio managers, exempt market dealers and scholarship plan 
dealers. Currently, only members of the Investment Industry Regulatory 
Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of 
Canada (MFDA) are required to participate in OBSI. 
Over 600 firms already participate in OBSI. If adopted, the CSA's proposal 
would almost double the number of banking and investment firms participating 
in OBSI to well over 1000. The listed reasons for mandating OBSI as the common 
dispute resolution service include: 


    --  No perception that competition for business from registered
        firms might influence the recommendations of for-profit dispute
        resolution service providers
    --  Complaints handled to a uniform standard
    --  Reduced confusion for members of the public

OBSI has been Canada's trusted independent dispute resolution service for the 
banking sector since 1996. OBSI's participating banks recognize that the CSA's 
rationale applies equally to the banking sector.

"OBSI appreciates the continued support of so many of Canada's leading banks," 
continued Bélisle. "Our commitment to them is to continue providing the 
top-quality complaint-handling services, trusted by the public, that the banks 
and their customers have come to expect."

***

OBSI is Canada's national independent dispute-resolution service for consumers 
and small businesses with a complaint they can't resolve with their banking 
services or investment firm. As a free alternative to the legal system, we 
work informally and confidentially to find fair outcomes to disputes about 
banking and investment products and services. Over 99.8% of the thousands of 
complaints brought to OBSI since the organization's inception in 1996 have 
been successfully resolved.

OBSI looks into complaints about most banking and investment matters 
including: debit and credit cards; mortgages; stocks, mutual funds, income 
trusts, bonds and GICs; loans and credit; fraud; investment advice; 
unauthorized trading; fees and rates; transaction errors; misrepresentation; 
and accounts sent to collections. Where a complaint has merit, OBSI may 
recommend compensation up to a maximum of $350,000.

Tyler Fleming Director, Stakeholder Relations and Communications 
publicaffairs@obsi.ca 416-218-4244

SOURCE: Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI)

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CO: Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI)
ST: Ontario
NI: FIN FIN 

-0- Nov/20/2012 14:04 GMT