Complaint settlement

We’re here to help

We’re dedicated to providing you with a service that meets your needs. Your satisfaction is our priority.

We understand that your experience may not have lived up to your expectations. This is important to us. 
 

Our commitment is to meet your needs and resolve your dissatisfaction quickly and thoroughly. That's why we offer a three-step approach. You will know exactly what to expect throughout the process. 
 

Our objective is to give you true peace of mind while we find a solution.
 

Together, let's find the solution that best meets all your needs. 

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Have questions? We’re here. 

Get answers to your questions about our products and services by visiting our help centre. 


One step at a time

Learn more about our three-step process for reporting any dissatisfactions you may have experienced.

For additional information, consult our complaint resolution document

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Submit my complaint to the department concerned

We can often resolve most dissatisfactions directly at the source. First, contact the appropriate department immediately. They can analyze your complaint and offer you a solution within 14 days

Submit a complaint

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Request a review of my complaint

Have you been unable to reach an agreement with the department concerned? Check that you’ve submitted an eligible complaint. You can request a review of your complaint by the National Bank  Client Complaint Appeal Office.

Your request will be reviewed in an impartial, objective, and fair manner. A decision will be made within 56 days from the time we receive your complaint (first step).  

Has the relevant team not been able to process your complaint within 14 days? Your complaint will automatically be handled by our Client Complaint Appeal Office without any action required on your part. 

Request a review

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Contact an external agency that handles complaints

Are you unhappy with the conclusion reached by the Client Complaint Appeal Office? A conclusion hasn’t been reached within 56 days? As a last resort, you can refer your case to an external agency

We’re at your disposal

Upon receipt of your complaint, regardless of the channel you used to contact us, we will send you an acknowledgment of receipt confirming the date we began examining your complaint.

At your request, the Client Complaint Appeal Office will provide complete, up-to-date information about your complaint. You will be contacted once a decision has been made.  

The Office will communicate its decision in writing within 56 days of the receipt of your original complaint (first step). 

Make a complaint or request a review

Regardless of the department concerned, you can contact us about your dissatisfaction.

Contact us

The Client Complaint Appeal Office

The Client Complaint Appeal Office: An independent and impartial team  

The National Bank Client Complaint Appeal Office offers a fair, impartial and objective investigation of complaints made by clients that remain unresolved. When the Office reviews a complaint about National Bank products and services, it takes into account:

  • Laws 
  • Regulations
  • Sound industry practices

It’s purpose: promote the settlement of disputes between National Bank and its clients. 

The Office’s team

The Client Complaint Appeal Office has full leeway to carry out the Office’s mission and achieve its mandate. It also makes recommendations to National Bank to improve its services and better meet your needs.
 

Our contact

Client Complaint Appeal Office
Geneviève Trottier
Email complaintappeal@nbc.ca

Annual infos

  Complaints investigated and settled by our team Average number of days taken to settle a complaint Settlement rate* (%)
2019  234  77  46 
2020  208  58  57 
2021 179 67 44

*Settlement rate: Final decision rendered in favour of the client for the entire file or via a settlement agreement.

External complaint agencies

Still not satisfied with the solutions we offered? Discover the list of external agencies that you can turn to as a last resort. 

Is your complaint about a banking product or service (accounts, loans, lines of credit, credit cards, online banking)?

Contact the Banking Ombuds Office (ADR Chambers)

Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET)

Website   Visit the web page

Phone      1‑800‑941‑3655 

Email        contact@bankingombuds.ca

Is your complaint about investments, including those with Direct Brokerage, Financial or Trust? 

Contact Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments *

Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET)

Website   Visit the web page

Phone      1‑800‑451‑4519 

Email        ombudsman@obsi.ca

Is your complaint about car or home insurance?

Contact Autorité des marchés financiers (Quebec residents)*

Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (ET)

Website   Visit the web page

Phone      1‑877‑525‑0337 

Email        plaintes@lautorite.qc.ca

Is your complaint about life insurance, loan, credit card, or the Cabinet? 

Contact OmbudService for Life and Health Insurance*

Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET)

Website   Visit the web page

Phone      1‑888‑295‑8112

Additional contacts

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Website      Visit the web page
 

Office de protection du consommateur (Quebec only)

Website      Visit the web page

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Mailing address  

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada 
427 Laurier Avenue West, 6th Floor 
Ottawa ON K1R 1B9

Website   Visit the web page

Service by phone

In English: 1-866-461-FCAC (3222)
In French:  1-866-461-ACFC (2232) 
Outside Canada: 613-960-4666

*Other external organizations may be authorized to intervene. You will be notified if this is the case. 

What the Client Complaint Appeal Office does not do

The Client Complaint Appeal Office can analyze the process by which a decision was made. However, the Office does not intervene in and does not provide reasons or explanations about decisions made by the Bank concerning risk management or financial criteria, such as:

  • Interest rates and fees applicable to products and services 
  • Credit decisions 
  • Eligibility for insurance coverage or the validity of insurance claims 
  • Termination of business relationships  
     

The Client Complaint Appeal Office cannot:  

  • Recommend compensation or damages for a bodily injury or non-economic loss (moral injury)
  • Issue legal opinions

 
Certain situations do not fall under the mandate of the Client Complaint Appeal Office. In particular, it does not open any files concerning: 

  • Corporate decisions
  • Situations for which the documents were destroyed following the expiry of the Bank’s archive retention time limit (which is generally seven years) 
  • Situations that are currently or were previously the object of legal proceedings 
  • Complaints against the Bank’s business partners 
  • Complaints considered abusive or frivolous

The Ombudsman Ethic

The Ombudsman Ethic receives, processes, and archives complaints and concerns regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters at National Bank. Employees, clients and other non-employees can report confidentially on corruption to the Ombudsman Ethic.
 
Contact the Ombudsman Ethic

A few examples of disputes

Here are a few examples of unpleasant situations, inspired by real cases, that may occur as part of a business relationship with a financial institution, and some tips to prevent them from occurring.

Correction of a credit report

Case 
Mr. D. lost his job and was having financial troubles. He missed a few payments on his personal loan held at the Bank. Mr. D. avoided having his loan sent to recovery by discussing the matter with the Bank's collection department and coming to a payment agreement. Though he was late with a few payments, the loan was eventually repaid in full. Later on, Mr. D. had to renew his mortgage loan at another financial institution. His application was declined because of the unfavourable note in his credit report. Mr. D. was upset and asked the Bank to correct his credit report. His request was declined.

Investigation 
The investigation revealed that any payment overdue by more than 30 days for a loan from a financial institution automatically generates a note in the individual's credit report. This is the case for payments overdue by 60 days and by 90 days. After this period, the Bank has the right to transfer the loan to recovery. In such cases, an R9 rating (the most severe rating to appear in a person's credit report) is entered in the report and remains on file for seven years. The investigation revealed that Mr. D. was more than 150 days late in paying his loan. Thanks to the payment agreement with the Bank, he was able to avoid having an R9 rating entered in his credit report. The Bank did not make a mistake in this situation. It was not required to ask for a correction to Mr. D.'s credit report, and the notes appearing in it were legitimate. 

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Quick tip  

Except for a few exceptions (e.g., when you apply for financing), the Bank does not have the right to consult your credit information. It therefore cannot ask for a correction to be made to a note in your credit report, unless it can be shown that it is due to an error the Bank has made.

Deposit of a fraudulent cheque

Case
Ms. T. was selling a couch online on Kijiji and was contacted by a potential buyer who lived in another province. The buyer, who was in fact a fraudster, claimed to be the owner of a transport company and asked her to send the couch through his company. Ms. T. agreed to send it to him once she had received a cheque for the price of the couch and the delivery fee. Ms. T. went to a Bank branch to deposit the cheque, then carried out an Interac e-Transfer in the amount of $970 to the bogus company. Shortly thereafter, an employee from the Bank's security department contacted her to confirm some of the details of the transfer; the transfer was finally authorized, while the cheque was returned to National Bank as a "fraudulent cheque."    

Investigation
The Client Complaint Appeal Office determined that Ms. T. took the time to share her concerns about the buyer's identity with the security department employee. However, the employee neglected to inform Ms. T. that the payee of the account to whom she wanted to send the funds did not have the same name as the alleged buyer. Finally, the transfer was identified as potentially fraudulent by Interac, but the Bank employee nonetheless approved it after his conversation with Ms. T. The Office recommended that the Bank refund the amount corresponding to the transfer. However, she concluded that Ms. T. was responsible for the cheque she deposited. 

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Quick tip  

Fraud is common on advertising websites. Beware of buyers who require that goods be sent before concluding a transaction, and make sure that you know the source of the funds you deposit.

Mortgage loan prepayment

Case
Ms. L. contracted a mortgage loan at a posted interest rate of 5.24%, to which a discount of 2.20% was applied. The term of the loan was 60 months. Less than three years later, after receiving an offer to purchase her property, Ms. L. advised the Bank that she wanted to prepay her mortgage loan.
 
She was then informed that the penalty she had to pay was calculated based on the posted rate of the mortgage loan when it was signed (5.24%) rather than the interest rate granted (3.04%), which resulted in a penalty of $8,337.58. Believing this calculation method to be unjustified, Ms. L. asked the Bank to grant her a refund corresponding to the difference between the penalty amount charged based on the posted interest rate (5.24%) and the amount applicable if the calculation had been based on the interest rate granted (3.04%).
    
Investigation 
The calculation method used by the Bank was revealed to be compliant with the agreement signed by Ms. L. when she contracted the loan. The Client Complaint Appeal Office also concluded that Ms. L. had received all the information she needed to know the amount of the prepayment charge should she sell her property before the end of the mortgage term.

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Quick tip  

Make sure that you read all clauses carefully when you take out a mortgage  and understand the information in your annual mortgage statement.

Hold on cheque deposits

Background
Mr. L. was in charge of collection for a Chinese company. After having deposited some cheques for large amounts, he transferred these amounts to an account at another financial institution. Some time later, the Bank notified Mr. L. that the deposited cheques had bounced. After having been alerted to this situation, Mr. L. asked the Bank to recall the funds. Having exceeded the prescribed timeframe, one of the three transfers could not be recalled and resulted in an overdraft of a few thousand dollars. Mr. L. was upset with the Bank for failing to ensure the validity of the cheques and refused to be held responsible. Consequently, he asked to be compensated for the amount of the overdraft generated in his account.

Investigation
In cases where a hold is placed on a deposit, the maximum period cannot exceed seven business days, though it can take longer to clear a cheque, particularly when it is issued by a bank abroad. In accordance with the provisions of the Agreement for Mr. L.'s transaction account, he was responsible for the cheques he deposited. We also determined that Mr. L. had been reminded by several employees at the branch about his responsibility when sending funds to other accounts. The Bank was therefore not required to refund the overdraft generated in his account. 

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Quick tip  

The Bank is not required to place a hold on an item deposited into an account. Moreover, a limit on the number of days on a hold may apply. You remain responsible at all times for the items you deposit into your account.

Refund for a credit card transaction carried out online

Case 
Mr. G. reserved a hotel room online and made a payment with his Mastercard credit card on the hotel booking company's website. He completed the transaction but did not receive any confirmation. He then decided to make a reservation at another hotel. When he received his credit card statement, Mr. G. realized that he was charged for the first transaction without ever staying at the hotel in question. He contested the $476.27 transaction, which Mastercard determined resulted from the client making a mistake when he entered his email address on the website. After determining that the merchant had met their obligations, Mastercard had no recourse in this matter and refused to refund Mr. G.

Investigation 
The Client Complaint Appeal Office determined that Mr. G. made a second reservation without first checking whether the first one had gone through. The credit card agreement specifies that Mastercard cannot be held responsible further to a dispute between a client and a merchant. Moreover, the Client Complaint Appeal office cannot make a merchant refund a client and cannot act as mediator between these two parties. Finally, the Office's mandate only covers the products and services provided by the Bank. 

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Quick tip  

You are responsible for online transactions with your credit card when you provide payment information that allows a merchant to charge you. Make sure that you read the merchant's terms and conditions before finalizing your transaction