Archived - Harper Government Consults With Canadians on a New Financial Consumer Code

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Minister of State (Finance) and Parliamentary Secretary launch national roundtable discussions

April 17, 2014 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Department of Finance

Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson and Parliamentary Secretary Andrew Saxton today launched roundtable discussions in Winnipeg and Vancouver on the development of a new and comprehensive financial consumer code. These roundtables follow online consultations held from December to February with the Government receiving submissions from across the country.

In Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government committed to continue to engage with Canadians on the development of a consumer code that will better protect consumers of financial products and services. Canadians have provided many views on how to strengthen the current legislative and regulatory framework, and the Government is continuing that discussion through these regional roundtables. The Harper Government will consider this input when developing a comprehensive legislative framework that will be more flexible and forward-looking and ensure that Canadians have the necessary information to make responsible financial decisions.

Quick Facts

The Harper Government has taken steps to update the existing financial consumer protection framework, including:

  • Mandating an effective minimum 21-day, interest-free grace period on all new credit card purchases when a customer pays the outstanding balance in full and introducing a fee summary box;
  • Reducing the maximum cheque hold period to four days from seven days for cheques of less than $1,500 and providing consumers with access to the first $100 within 24 hours;
  • Banning unsolicited credit card cheques;
  • Requiring that financial institutions offer products and services on an opt-in basis only, where consumers have sufficient disclosure about the terms and conditions before accepting; and
  • Introducing new requirements for prepaid cards issued by federally regulated financial institutions requiring them to disclose to consumers relevant information at appropriate points in time. These regulations come into force on May 1, 2014.

Quotes

“Our Government’s Consumers First agenda helps better protect consumers of financial products and services. When Canadian families save, spend and invest their hard-earned money, they should be confident that they are being protected in a competitive marketplace.”

- Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance)

“We are listening to Canadians on how a financial consumer code could help them make more informed financial decisions today. The code will address the modern-day challenges of a fast-evolving digital financial environment while responding to the needs of vulnerable Canadians.”

- Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Additional Links

Media Contacts

Meagan Murdoch
Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Finance)
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

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