If you have a complaint or a problem with a financial services provider, we recommend you take the following steps to resolve it.
Step 1: Local level
Contact your financial services provider directly to make your complaint known. Try resolving the issue with a manager or customer service representative with the financial service provider.
Step 2: Senior level or internal ombudsman
If you are not satisfied, ask about the firm’s complaint process. If your complaint cannot be resolved at the local level, it may be referred to a higher level of management, a complaints liaison manager, or an internal ombudsman.
Step 3: Third Party
If your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may have access to a review by a third party. The following organizations provide a non-binding review of complaints against their members.
For complaints or inquiries about home, car and business insurers, you may contact the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO).
Toll Free 1.877.225.0446
For complaints or inquiries about life and health insurance products including life, disability, employee health benefits, travel and insurance investment products such as annuities and segregated funds life and health products and services issued by life insurance companies, you may contact the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI).
Fr: (514) 282-2088
Toll free: 1-888-295-8112
For complaints or inquiries about banks, trust companies, investment dealers, mutual fund dealers or companies, RESP Dealers Association of Canada members, and some credit unions, you may contact the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI).
Tel: (416) 287-2877
Toll free: 1-888-451-4519
Financial Services Regulators
Please note that you can also contact the appropriate provincial or federal financial services regulator. The regulator may be able to provide you with additional information, guidance or other assistance with resolving your complaint. A list of provincial and federal regulators can be found here: http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/english/about/links.asp .
Tips for Resolving a Complaint
If you think there's a problem, ask for an explanation as soon as possible.
- Often, problems arise due to misunderstanding or miscommunication between individuals. If addressed early, many problems can easily get sorted out. However, if you are not satisfied with the response you receive make a formal complaint.
Be clear about the problem and what you would like to see happen.
- A formal complaint often requires that you make a complaint in writing. You need to identify the problem, state why you think it's a problem and set out what you would like to happen. Put down the facts in a logical order and provide relevant information and copies of documents. Avoid unnecessary detail and repetition. Avoid bringing new issues forward while the complaint is going through the process. Often this confuses matters and results in unnecessary delays.
Ask for information.
- Know your rights about filing a complaint. Keep in mind that some companies are required to have a complaint process that includes providing information on how to make a complaint, how long the process will take and the next steps if the complaint remains unresolved.
Keep a complaint file
- Make copies of all correspondence and official documents you send to the company. Always send copies of official documents and keep the original for your file.
Keep records of conversations
- If you phone a company or attend a meeting, keep a record of the date, the name of the person you spoke to and the main issues raised by both of you. If there is an action expected following a conversation, send a confirmation letter to the company. Be specific about the agreed action and the timelines.