Our Commitment to Fair Sales Practices
What you need to know
Canada’s Bank Act requires all banks to inform its customers and the public that they will not:
- impose undue pressure on a person, or coerce a person, for any purpose, including to obtain a product or service from the bank as a condition for obtaining another product or service from the bank (known as “coercive tied selling”); or
- take advantage of a person.
Under section 627.04 of the Bank Act, banks are prohibited from engaging in any of these practices in their dealings in Canada with their customers and the public. President’s Choice Bank (“PC Bank”) has created this document to help you understand:
- what is undue pressure,
- what is coercive tied selling,
- what is taking advantage of a person, and
- how to contact us if you have any questions or concerns with respect to any of these prohibited practices.
What is Undue Pressure?
Undue pressure is as any pressure imposed in any form, including a bank’s practices or communications, that could be reasonably considered to be excessive or persistent in the circumstances. Bank practices that may be considered as applying undue pressure include:
- Repeatedly contacting you with an offer, even after you’ve said you are not interested,
- Threatening you with negative consequences if you decide not to take up an offer right away (for example, that your credit may be negatively impacted), or
- Coercive tied selling (more on this below).
Not all sales and marketing practices constitute undue pressure; as part of their business, banks may try to let you know about offers for products and services that they believe meet your needs. This can include reaching out to you using contact information you’ve provided or made available to them.
What is Coercive Tied Selling?
Coercive tied selling occurs if a consumer is put in a position of undue pressure to purchase a product or service the consumer does not want from a bank or one of its affiliates, as a condition of receiving another product or service from the bank.
For example, a bank cannot tell you that you are approved for a credit card only if you transfer all of your investments to the bank as well.
This practice is against the law. If you qualify for a product or service offered by a bank in Canada, the bank’s representative is not allowed to unduly pressure you to buy another product or service you do not want, as a condition or being provided the product or service you do want.
What is not Coercive Tied Selling?
Offering customers special offers, or packages aimed at showing appreciation for their continued business may be confused with tied selling. Common practices that may be confused with tied selling, are Preferential Pricing, and Bundling of Products and Services.
This is where a business offers a better price or rate to a customer in appreciation for their continued business. For example, where a store may offer you a discount if you purchase more than one item, similarly a bank may offer you a lower interest rate on a loan if you use more of its products or services.
Bundling of Products and Services:
This is where a business combines various products or services into a package, offering customers better prices, incentives or more favorable terms than if they were purchased separately. For example, a fast food chain may offer a meal combination that includes a hamburger, fries and a drink for a lower overall price than if you bought the three items separately. Similarly, a bank may offer bundled financial products at rates or prices that are better than what would apply to the individual products.
Bundling of products in this way is permitted because you have the choice of buying items separately or in a package.
What is Taking Advantage of a Person?
Taking advantage of a person can happen in several ways, including where a consumer is pressured or convinced to purchase a product or service that they don’t understand, or that doesn’t meet their financial needs. It may be more likely to occur where the consumer is operating at a disadvantage, such as being less experienced with financial products or services, or having a physical or other disability that limits their ability to read or understand certain information.
What is Our Commitment to You?
We expect all employees and representatives of PC Bank to comply with the law by not applying undue pressure, engaging in coercive tied selling or taking advantage of any person. We provide our employees and representatives with information and training on acceptable sales practices, and maintain policies and procedures to ensure they live up to this commitment. We urge you to let us know if you believe that you have experienced any of these practices in your dealings with us.
If you have any questions, complaints or concerns, contact President’s Choice Bank as follows:
By telephone, toll free: 1 866 246 PCMC (7262)
Services for the hearing impaired: 1 855 223 3499 (TTY only)
By email: email@example.com
By mail: President's Choice Financial Mastercard P.O. Box 4403, STN A, Dept. 5114 Toronto, ON M5W 5Y4