The High Cost of Access to Financial Services for Newcomers to Canada and People with Limited Education


St. Christopher House




Previous studies on access to basic banking services, credit, and fringe lending have described the inadequacy of the financial services industry in informing and providing appropriate services for a wide range of Canadian consumers. However, there has been little detailed research on the motives and habits of vulnerable users of financial services and the consequences of their exclusion from financial services. St. Christopher House has been doing frontline financial literacy work with newcomers to Canada and people with limited education for the past five years. St. Christopher House’s experience indicates that these two groups are disproportionately disadvantaged by the relative inaccessibility of basic financial services. The result is that they turn to alternative services that are arguably predatory and in any case are far more costly. The hypothesis for this report was that these groups are effectively paying more for basic services because mainstream services are hard for them to understand, access and navigate.

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OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

St. Christopher House
588 Queen Street West, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON  M6J 1E3
(416) 504-3535
(416) 504-3047

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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