The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) released another draft regulation relating to complaint handling, which is being published for comment for the second time. The draft regulation respecting complaint processing and dispute resolution in the financial sector is intended to harmonize and support the fair processing of complaints in Québec’s financial sector so that there is a common set of rules and practices followed by financial institutions, financial intermediaries and credit assessment agents. In particular, the AMF wishes to ensure that the analysis of such complaints enables those parties to identify recurring issues relating to their activities and take appropriate action to address them.

The revised draft has broadened the definition of a “complaint”. For financial institutions and financial intermediaries, a communication meeting all of the following conditions will be a “complaint”:

  • it expresses a reproach or dissatisfaction in respect of a service or product offered by the financial institution or financial intermediary;
  • it is communicated by a person who is a member of the clientele of the financial institution or financial intermediary; and
  • the complainant expects a final response within the meaning of the draft regulation.

The proposed regulation would provide greater flexibility to settle certain complaints verbally if they can be handled within 10 days following receipt of the complaint. The AMF is proposing to keep the 60-day time period for processing a complaint, while allowing for a 30 day extension in circumstances that are exceptional or beyond the control of the institution. An example provided includes a situation where the analysis of a complaint requires the receipt of documents or information from persons who are not parties to the complaint. The consultation is open until February 6, 2023.

January 31, 2023