Allegations of aggressive, and in some cases illegal, sales practices at several of Canada’s biggest banks have put top executives on the defensive at annual meetings this spring, with Scotiabank’s CEO telling shareholders on Tuesday the reports are “largely unsubstantiated.”
“We take each of those eight very seriously,” said Porter. “We investigate them. We’re proud of the bank. We’re proud of our employees. We’ve got very sound sales practices. We monitor and adjust them where we think it’s necessary.”
Porter was asked by a shareholder to respond to the reports by 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.
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.
Downe said he has a “high degree of confidence” in the bank’s employees and that the bank has “rigorous disciplines” in place to make sure that top-level executives are aware of what’s happening on the sales floor.
“We track incidents of customer or employee dissatisfaction and I’ve seen no movement in the numbers in the most recent period,” Downe told reporters after the bank concluded its annual shareholder meeting Tuesday.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has launched its own review of business practices in the financial sector, in light of the CBC report. The Canadian Bankers Association, which represents the country’s major banks, has said its members will co-operate with the investigation.