How often did Canadians make banking inquiries last year?

New report shows record-breaking volumes

How often did Canadians make banking inquiries last year?

Amid a volatile economic and financial environment, Canada’s banking complaints agencies have reported a “record” number of inquiries and cases opened over the course of 2022.

The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) reported a 56% surge in banking inquiries and a 33% increase in the number of banking cases opened last year. The organization saw a total of 10,650 inquiries covering both banking and investment issues.

Similarly, the ADR Chambers Banking Ombuds Office reported a 45% upswing in the number of complaints it received and a 21% growth in banking cases in 2022. The agency fielded a total of 4,722 inquiries, with 886 being formally opened as complaints.

“These higher volumes continued a trend we have seen throughout the pandemic period, as Canadians, small businesses and financial services firms continue to cope with unprecedented economic challenges, increasing levels of financial stress, and increasing rates of financial fraud,” said Sarah Bradley, ombudsman and CEO at OBSI.

“More consumers than ever are making use of Canadian banks’ internal complaint-handling services to resolve their concerns and a record number are escalating their concerns to us for an independent expert review of their case.”

Fraud was the most prominent issue in the banking complaints fielded by OBSI last year, accounting for 31% of the agency’s total banking case volume. This was a noticeably higher volume from the 22% share back in 2021.

“Fraud cases accounted for a large portion of the complaints involving e-transfers, credit cards, and wire transfers,” OBSI said.