An ongoing Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) priority is listening to consumers and responding to their concerns. Information collected from consumer contacts helps FCAC to update and improve the information Canadians need to function effectively in the financial marketplace. The Consumer Education branch furnish consumers with independent, objective information about a variety of financial products and services while the Compliance branch monitors and enforces the legislation that protects consumers when they deal with financial institutions.
FCAC tracks a large volume of inquires and complaints through its Consumer Contact Centre (CCC) and through On-line, e-mail and regular mail. The Consumer Contact Centre receives the majority of consumer inquiries and complaints. The information received from consumers is captured in a consumer information database (WebCIMS). The WebCIMS is central to the Consumer Education and Compliance branches carrying out their activities. In addition, the WebCIMS is used to prepare statistical information about consumer inquiries and complaints to internal purposes in a table format published on FCAC's external internet site and their annual report to parliament.
The CCC services are outsourced to Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). The CCC and the WebCIMS are central to FCAC having independent, objective information about a wide variety of financial products and services and being able to identify emerging concerns or trends in consumers dealing with financial institutions. The Consumer Contact Centre services are set out in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FCAC and CDIC.
In order to manage its work in a complex and rapidly changing environment, FCAC develops and provides specialized consumer services as well extensive consumer information reporting to Parliament. In general, these are called frameworks. These frameworks provide assurance to the Commissioner and senior managers that the nature and scope of work required to carry out FCAC activities is well defined and that consistency and quality of the work is likely to be maintained if the frameworks are appropriately executed.