Newly established consumer-business group Public Trust and its North American counterpart, the Council of Better Business Bureaus, have agreed to operate a joint system to handle consumers' complaints against companies active in both markets, the Tel Aviv-based non-profit organization said Sunday. "I hope that this agreement will increase consumers' trust and security in purchasing goods in the markets of the US, Canada, and Israel, whether as visitors abroad or in electronic trade through Internet sites, as well as in purchases from extensions of foreign companies active in Israel, and vice-versa," said Israel Zilberman, Public Trust's chairman and initial sponsor. The joint system will address all complaints involving deals or advertisement lodged by a consumer or business against businesses located in the countries in which CBBB and Public Trust are active. Both organizations are obligated to protect the privacy of the complainant, and will not make any other use of personal information collected, Public Trust (Emun ha-tzibbur) said. "Both organizations believe that we can significantly benefit consumers and businesses involved in international trade between the US, Canada, and Israel," said Steven J. Cole, CBBB president and CEO. CBBB already has agreements with organizations in the United Kingdom - TrustUK and WebTraderUK - to handle complaints involving British and North American consumers and companies, as well as with the Japanese Electronic Commerce Promotion Council. The first North American Better Business Bureau was founded in Minneapolis in 1912. BBBs as a whole handle more than 985,000 complaints annually, 62% of which are submitted on-line.