Last year RBC and TD withdrew from the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) for banking complaints, choosing instead to hire and pay for a private for-profit supplier whose job is to rule on the merits of their customer complaints and claims for compensation. That supplier, ADRBO, was criticized by OBSI as only being directly accountable to the banks that hire and pay to rule on their market conduct. “If they do not sufficiently please their client – the banks – they can be fired,” said the OBSI in reaction to the RBC and TD switch to ADRBO.
Garganis questions the relationship between the banks and ombudsman-for-hire entities like OBSI and ADRBO.
“It is an obvious conflict of interest,” he says. “Although some of the most recent reports from OBSI do show that complaints are on the rise – at least the reporting is on the rise. But how many of those complaints are addressed and resolved?”
Garganis finds mortgage specialists are not held up to the same level of accountability that mortgage brokers must maintain.
“Brokers have a disclosure process and are far more accountable, especially since the Broker’s Act of 2008,” he says. “These mortgage ‘specialists’ are out there brokering deals for one bank – they are in effect mortgage brokers without the accountability. These new regulations offer nothing to keep them and the banks up to our standard.”