6 percent of all respondents claimed to have had a serious problem last year with a financial institution they were regularly using (especially younger respondents).
In about half of the cases, it resulted in a complaint, and in about half of the complaints, the problem was resolved.
Extrapolated to population figures, it was estimated that last year, about 300,000 adult Canadians complained about a serious problem they had with a financial institution, and their problem was not (or could not be) resolved to their satisfaction.
Of all respondents:
13 percent claimed that at least one financial institution they were using told them about their complaint handling process, at some point in time (especially northern residents). The vast majority (84 percent) of respondents were never informed (or could not remember being informed) about this process by their financial institution;
49 percent said they were aware that every financial institution has a complaint handling process to help deal with client complaints (least aware were Quebec residents); and,
7 percent claimed to have used the complaint handling process of a financial institution (least likely were Quebec residents). Most (72 percent) of those who experience with the complaint process were pleased with it.
Overall, a clear majority of all respondents believed that the federal government could help them, should they have difficulties with a financial institution (64 percent), have questions about a product or service (65 percent) or questions related to their rights as consumers (76 percent).
Those least likely to think the federal government could provide assistance were Quebec residents and older respondents.
Past surveys indicated a low awareness of a federal agency responsible for informing and assisting consumers in their dealings with financial institutions.
In this survey, respondents were asked what federal department or agency they would contact if they experienced difficulty with a financial institution, had questions about a financial service, or their rights as a financial consumer. The name of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) was read, as one of 5 possible choices, including Industry Canada, Service Canada, Finance Canada and the Bank of Canada.
FCAC drew the largest percentage (46 percent) of responses, as the federal government source respondents would first call for assistance.