Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman is an impartial group within BMO Financial Group that reviews Canadian customer complaints that remain unresolved after having been through Steps 1 and 2 of BMO’s dispute resolution process.

How the Ombudsman can help

The Office of the Ombudsman reviews and considers complaints carefully. They also listen to BMO’s position and investigate what happened. The role of the Office is to conduct an impartial review of submitted concerns in an effort to facilitate a resolution. In particular, the Ombudsman process:

  • Provides a voluntary and confidential avenue for a Complainant and BMO to openly and transparently discuss the problem
  • Acts as an alternative to the Court system
  • Offers a way to resolve problems with BMO without the Complainant incurring legal costs
  • May lead to the recommendation of a resolution if the Ombudsman finds that a complaint is valid

The Ombudsman’s recommendations are non-binding. In the event that a settlement is not reached, each party remains free to pursue other avenues to resolve the dispute.

The Ombudsman’s mandate

The Ombudsman acts as the 3rd and final internal step in resolving a customer complaint, following attempts to resolve the issue through Step 1 and 2. Their process is as follows:

  1. Confirmation within Mandate
  2. Investigation of Concerns
  3. Communication of Findings
  4. Escalation Information

Full details of BMO’s dispute resolution process are outlined in the brochure titled: We’re here to help – Resolving Customer Complaints. It’s also available at any of BMO’s branches.

The Ombudsman’s Office has a broad mandate to investigate a wide range of financial services complaints; however, there are certain issues that fall outside of its mandate. These include:

  • Credit granting policies or risk management decisions
  • Decisions to close accounts
  • Business decisions to change product or service offerings
  • Levels of interest rates, service charges or fees that apply to all customers
  • Transaction or other product or service issues for which BMO records no longer exist
  • Matters that are or have been before a Court, tribunal, or other independent dispute resolution body

Engaging Stakeholders

Role of the Ombudsman

Learn more about BMO’s Ombudsman and the roles and responsibilities of the Office and the Complainant.

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Workplace Diversity

Resolving a complaint

Learn more about the overall complaints process and our promise to address your complaint quickly, efficiently and professionally.

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