Email from Ms. Sarah Moonshiram, Centre for the Financial Services OmbudsNetwork, CFSON, Canada

I noticed that you referred to the Board of Directors at OBSI in regards to appealing the Ombudsman's decision. Please note that OBSI's Board of Directors does not hear appeals on the Ombudsman's final decision. In the case where the client is not satisfied with the final decision, s/he retains the right to seek legal counsel and pursue legal action against the institution.

Email from Centre for the Financial Services OmbudsNetwork, CFSON, Canada

To: Mr. Les Stewart, President, Canadian Alliance of Franchise Operators, CAFO
From: Centre for the Financial Services OmbudsNetwork, CFSON
Date: July 26, 2005

Financial%20Services%20OmbudsNetwork%20franchising.jpg

Dear Mr. Stewart:

Thank you for your e-mail message and for contacting the Centre for the Financial Services OmbudsNetwork (CFSON).

Following my voice mail message this afternoon, I would like to take this opportunity to expand a little on the options open to your client in regards to OBSI's final decision and any other avenues which may be open to you with regards to policy reform/dispute-handling suggestions.

Firstly, the CFSON is a non-profit industry-funded consumer complaint and referral service designed to assist financial services consumers across Canada with their concerns and complaints in several areas, including banking, general insurance, life and health insurance and investments. While we do not investigate or resolve complaints directly from this office, as the umbrella organization for the Financial Services OmbudsNetwork (FSON), we are able to direct consumers through our network and provide them with access to free, impartial and independent dispute resolution services as well as answer their questions.

I noticed that you referred to the Board of Directors at OBSI in regards to appealing the Ombudsman's decision. Please note that OBSI's Board of Directors does not hear appeals on the Ombudsman's final decision. In the case where the client is not satisfied with the final decision, s/he retains the right to seek legal counsel and pursue legal action against the institution.

Not being privy to the details of this case, I am assuming that the institution which you are referring to is a federally-regulated bank. Should you wish to report any compliance issues or suggest any policy changes in this regard, you may wish to contact the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada at the following contact information:

Telephone
Information officers are available from Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time.

For services in English 1-866-461-FCAC (3222)
For services in French 1-866-461-ACFC (2232)

Mail
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
427 Laurier Avenue West, 6th floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1B9

The FCAC is a federal regulatory agency and is responsible for enforcing many of the federal laws that protect consumers in their dealings with financial institutions. Part of the agency's mandate is to monitor financial institutions' business practices (a.k.a. voluntary codes of conduct).

The FCAC is headed by a Commissioner who investigates and reports all findings to the Minister of Finance. The Commissioner has the power to issue a notice of violation if a financial institution doesn't comply with its legislated consumer obligations and published decisions made by the Commissioner in past cases can be viewed at : http://www.fcac.gc.ca/eng/compliance/CommDecisions/default.asp.

Should you require further assistance or have any further inquiries, please feel free to contact us at 1-866-538-3766 or e-mail at ac.fscrc-nosfc|ofni#ac.fscrc-nosfc|ofni.

Regards,

Ms. Sarah Moonshiram
Consumer Complaint Specialist
Centre for Financial Services OmbudsNetwork


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