Canada’s biggest banks on the defensive over sales practice allegations

Banks on defensive over sales practice allegations

TORONTO — Allegations of aggressive, and in some cases illegal, sales practices at several of Canada’s biggest banks have put top executives on the defensive during the industry’s annual meeting season, with Scotiabank’s CEO telling shareholders the reports are “largely unsubstantiated”.

Brian Porter said that out of 400 million interactions between the bank’s clients and employees, Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) received only eight complaints about sales practices last year.

Porter was asked by a shareholder to respond to the reports by broadcaster CBC, which cited unnamed employees at Canada’s major banks who alleged they broke the law in order to meet sales targets and keep their jobs.

Porter’s comments came on the heels of similar remarks made by TD Bank’s CEO (TSX:TD) last week, who said that less than 100 of the complaints the bank received last year had compliance concerns.

Bharat Masrani said during the company’s annual meeting on March 30 that TD has brought in a professional services firm to help the bank review its businesses in light of the reports.

When asked by reporters if Scotiabank has any plans to launch a review or bring in external help, James O’Sullivan, head of Canadian banking, said the bank is constantly reviewing its businesses.

 

Follow @alexposadzki on Twitter.

The Canadian Press

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