Bank and Customer Dispute Resolution

AuthorM.H. Ogilvie
ProfessionChancellor's Professor and Professor of Law, Carleton University
Cha pter 13
a. Int roduCt Ion
Banks are large, complex organizations, and banking involves complex
services and legal relationships managed by fallible indiv iduals for fal-
lible individuals. Errors occur and must be corrected. In most instan-
ces, this can be done simply at the branch when either the bank or
the customer notices the problem and secures an immediate resolution.
Occasionally, there is a difference of opinion as to the correct solu-
tion, and third party intervention may be required to determine what
that solution is. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for customers
has been available in t he Canadian banki ng context since 1994, when
individual bank s implemented internal dispute resolution procedures
for their own customers, followed in 1996 by the establishment of the
Canadian Ba nking Ombudsman (CBO) by the banking sector to hear
appeals from individual bank processes. In this, Canada followed the
implementation of banking ombudsman s chemes in other common law
countries, including the United Kingdom (1986), Ireland (1990), Aus-
tralia (1990), and New Zealand (1992).1
1 See generally M.H . Ogilvie, “Banking O mbudsmen: A Necessar y Evil or Simply
Not Necessar y?” (1996) 11 B.F.L.R. 167 and Jacq ueline J. Williams, “Can adian
Financia l Services Ombudsme n: The Role of Reputational Persuasion” (2004)
20 B.F.L.R. 41.

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