Overview

The financial services industry in Canada is highly regulated. They can be provincially regulated (such as credit unions) or federally regulated (such as banks). While most financial institutions in B.C. are non-unionized, some are union workplaces, or their employees are seeking to become unionized. Our clients in this area include banks, credit unions and co-ops, and insurance companies.

Financial services providers face a variety of challenges, including:

  • The industry must constantly adapt to new regulations and continue to integrate or address amendments to existing regulations;
  • Advancing technology poses new risks to customer data, and for obvious reasons, the financial services industry is particularly focused on safeguarding client and employee information, especially as new software and systems are introduced; and
  • This industry is also subject to a high degree of scrutiny, which can make them targets for individual lawsuits relating to data protection and employee relations.

We provide a full range of services, including:

  • Employment law;
  • Labour law;
  • Privacy law;
  • Human rights and accommodation; and
  • Litigation.

We take the time to understand the environment and needs of each client in this sector. For example, we realize that solutions that work in a bank might not be as effective in a credit union, and vice-versa. We have the experience to guide our clients through any workplace issue they might face, providing solutions that are practical for their particular culture.

For unionized environments, we have significant experience with the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) which represents many employees in the credit union environment. We also provide advice on collective bargaining and interpretation. For institutions where employees are seeking to become unionized, we provide advice regarding whether certification drives have been filed appropriately and assist with Labour Relations Board objections to certification. We also advise on communication with employees before and after such drives.

To assist our clients through changes to the industry and help them to proactively avoid legal issues, we are able to provide our clients and their employees with training in areas such as on basic supervisory rules, human rights and accommodation, and how to most cost-effectively work with lawyers.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19?

Harris can help. Click here to view all of our updates on what’s going on and the legal implications of COVID-19.