April 4, 2017 / 4:22 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal defend sales practices

(Recasts, adds comment from BMO chief executive)

TORONTO, April 4 (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia and Bank of Montreal, two of Canada’s biggest banks, on Tuesday defended their sales practices following reports that staffers were pressured to meet targets.

Canada’s financial watchdog is investigating sales practices at the country’s banks and expects to conclude its investigation by the end of the year.

The probe follows reports by CBC News, Canada’s public broadcaster, which said staff at the country’s biggest banks had admitted moving customers to higher-fee accounts and raising credit card and overdraft limits without their knowledge.

Bank of Nova Scotia’s chief executive, Brian Porter, defended the bank’s record on sales practices at the bank’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

“We have over 8 million customers in Canada, we did over 400 million transactions last year and we had only eight customer complaints about sales practices,” he said.

Speaking at Bank of Montreal’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Chief Executive Bill Downe said: “With respect to our bankers, I have confidence that they know we’re not in business to push products”.

Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis

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