Canada’s financial consumer protection regimes could be strengthened following a report from a federal agency.

FCAC was asked by Ottawa’s finance minster to assess the provincial and territorial regimes for the protection of those buying and using financial services and products.

In its report, the federal agency says that the protection of financial consumers across Canada is generally good but could be better.

Improvement could be made by addressing certain business practices, better supporting the supervisory and enforcement work of FCAC with additional tools and introducing targeted measures to better empower and protect consumers.

One of the key differences the report highlights between the federal and regional regimes is that FCAC has a generally proactive approach to supervision of financial consumer protection, meaning that it can seek to address issues swiftly, whereas provincial and territorial regulators are largely reactive with monitoring and enforcement actions mainly resulting from incoming complaints.

Here’s where the regions lead
 Regional regulators and legislation tends to be part of broader consumer protection, compared to FCAC’s dedicated focus on the financial sector.

However, the provincial and territorial regulators often have stronger powers to enforce compliance than their federal counterpart.

The regions also have more ability to deal with misleading advertising and marketing of financial products and services and offer more options for dealing with disputes including mediation.

 

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