FAIR Canada has provided comments on the Department of Finance’s Review of the federal financial sector framework. FAIR Canada is generally supportive of the Government’s focus on building long-term, inclusive economic growth to support Canadians, and agrees that a well-functioning financial sector is key to delivering this commitment. However, throughout its submission, FAIR Canada reminded the Department of Finance that the protection of financial consumers needs to be addressed and cannot be assumed or taken for granted.
FAIR Canada expressed disappointment that the Department of Finance did not specifically request input in the Consultation Paper on protecting bank consumers, considering the importance and far-ranging consequences of this topic. FAIR Canada urged the Department of Finance to be directly involved in assessing the protection of bank consumers, and to make timely and appropriate determinations on this matter. FAIR Canada also had three specific recommendations for the Department of Finance to enhance bank consumer protection: 1) Creating a statutory best interest standard for those at the banks that provide financial advice to consumers; 2) The creation of one, independent, national ombudservice that is able to make binding decisions (if the consumer accepts the recommendation) and that is open to all financial consumers; and 3) Reviewing the powers, resources and processes of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada so that it is effective in carrying out its mandate and ensuring appropriate compliance and enforcement.
In its submission, FAIR Canada also supported specific corporate governance reforms put forward by the Department of Finance such as promoting diversity of boards, establishing annual elections, mandating individual director elections, and establishing majority voting for board directors in uncontested elections.
To see all of FAIR Canada’s comments and recommendations, click here.