Investment Funds in Canada and Consumer Protection


Glorianne Stromberg


Office of Consumer Affairs




The rapid expansion in the consumer investment market has outpaced the regulatory and supervisory system, and no one regulatory group or sector of the financial services industry, acting alone, has the mandate or authority to implement comprehensive solutions.

Given the importance and complexity of this industry, the evident lack of knowledge and expertise on the part of consumers, and the growing tendency to sell investment funds in the same manner as any other consumer goods, together with Canada’s lack of common regulatory standards respecting investment funds and money management services generally, it is appropriate to consider what improvements would enhance investor protection and better meet the needs of consumer/investors.

This report identifies core problems that affect consumer protection. These problems are not unique to any type of institution within the sector, nor are they unique to any particular region of the country. They cross all boundaries. Canadian governments and industry should act together to deal with them.

Improving consumer protection requires action in several areas:

• better disclosure related to fees and other essential information;
• concerted efforts to improve the knowledge and awareness of consumer/investors;
• agreements among governments and key industry stakeholders leading to an integrated regulatory regime including appropriate self-regulation; and
• the modernization, simplification, coordination and harmonization of provincial and federal laws.

These approaches must be based on the assumption of leadership by those at the highest levels of industry and government, both federal and provincial.

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Contact information

Office of Consumer Affairs
Industry Canada
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street, 2nd Floor, West Tower
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0H5
(613) 952-2534
(613) 952-6927

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

Date Modified: