Consumers in the Financial Services Sector - Principles, Practice and Policy- the Canadian Experience


Department of Finance Canada




We have experienced a cascade of innovative offerings from providers in the financial sector. Some of these are electronic, some are truly new, some are hybrid combinations of older options, some come with stunning combinations of qualifications like grace periods or minimum balances, some have accumulated points for future credit, some are covered by deposit insurance while others from the same source are not covered, some are clearly explained, some have several pages of turgid legal phrasing to read, and some have contract terms which arrive well after the bargain has been struck. We use words like “no load” to mean “load” and employ hidden incentives designed to tempt selling agents. The result is a financial marketplace that provides a serious challenge to everyone except, perhaps, the most sophisticated operators. Canada has an urgent need for some clear rules to allow consumers to find the financial services they want. In addition, the financial marketplace has a need for fair rules so that the sellers with the superior offerings can win market share from others. And Canadian firms and consumers need to have financial sector rules that are at least able to match rules available in comparable countries.

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Contact information

Department of Finance Canada
19th floor, East Tower
140 O'Connor Street 
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0G5
(613) 992-1573
(613) 943-0938

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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