Welcome to the Eastern Ontario Financial Services news and events page. Here you will find industry-relevant blog posts and articles, any company news that happens within our organization, and event photos/updates to keep up-to-date on all things EOFS!

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Royal Bank set to repay investors more than $21 million for mistakenly charged investment fees

The Royal Bank of Canada has made an agreement with the Ontario Securities Commission to repay more than $21 million to clients who were wrongly charged investment fees.

The settlement follows claims by OSC Staff that there were inadequate systems of controls and supervision, which resulted in clients paying — directly or indirectly — fees they should not have been charged.

According to an article in the Financial Post, “RBC is the latest in a string of large financial institutions to enter a no-contest settlement with regulators after self-reporting the issue of excess fees on funds, along with a plan to reimburse clients.”

In addition to the money that will go to investors, RBC – which self-reported the issue in 2015 — will also pay $925,000 to fund the OSC’s mission to protect investors, plus an additional $50,000 toward the costs of the investigation.

According to the article, the panel says that, “Based on the facts alleged and on the parties’ submissions, in our view the compensation called for in the settlement agreement is appropriate” and that the settlement will save the “substantial costs and delay” of a full, contested hearing.

Also according to the article in the Post, the OSC has reached eight such settlements with companies, resulting in nearly $250 million in compensation to investors, since adopting the no-contest settlement just a few years ago.

See a list of other major Canadian banks that have reached no-contest settlements by reading the full article.

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Go Public Investigation Reveals Five of Canada’s Largest Banks Are Pressuring Employees to Meet Unrealistic Sales Goals

A CBC Go Public investigation has revealed employees from all five of Canada’s largest banks — RBC, BMO, CIBC, TD and Scotiabank — are coerced to “upsell, trick and even lie” to customers in an effort to meet unrealistic sales targets. Many bank employees have even expressed concern they are at risk of losing their job if they don’t meet these targets, which are closely monitored.  

One anonymous RBC employer told Go Public that even when customers don’t require anything, workers are instructed to upgrade their Visa card, increase their Visa limits or encourage customers to open a credit line.

Meanwhile, at TD, front-line staff are even breaking the law in an effort to sell their customers products they may not need. One worker told Go Public, “I bumped up credit cards, overdraft or account types just because of the pressures.”

The Go Public investigation further uncovered managers are utilizing pressure tactics in order to increase sales. One employee from an RBC branch in Guelph said she has been threatened with pay cuts and job loss if she doesn’t upsell an adequate amount of customers. She also told Go Public that managers send out weekly emails to discredit employees not hitting their sales targets. Meanwhile, employees at several RBC branches in Calgary said white boards in staff rooms not only list financial advisors meeting their goals, but also those employees that aren’t.

For many of these employees, these threats and bully tactics are causing undue amounts of stress; some are even on medical leave. Others yet have even had to quit after suffering from insomnia, anxiety, nausea, and depression.

While Go Public requested interviews with the CEOs of the five big banks, all declined. Instead, they simply sent statements expressing that the banks act in the best interest of their clients, and that employees are expected to follow codes of conduct. According to Go Public, these statements did not address employees’ concerns about the shaming and bullying tactics that occur when they do not meet sales targets.

Alexandre Boulerice, NDP finance critic, is now calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the sales practices of Canadian banks, says Go Public.

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TD Teller Admits To Making Customers Pay In Order To Make Sales Target

‘I will do anything I can to make my goal’: TD teller says customers pay price for ‘unrealistic’ sales targets.

Bank employees say their jobs depend on upselling customers for products that can put them into debt

– Erica Johnson · Investigative reporter · CBC News March 6, 2017

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