Toronto, June 20, 2011

Archived - Minister of Finance Highlights Resilience and Stability of Canada’s Financial System in Address to Global Insurance Leaders

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In a speech to the International Insurance Society, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, described how Canada’s financial system weathered the recent global financial crisis and why Canada has become a more influential voice on the world stage as a result.

“Our country has demonstrated the rewards of prudence, discipline and forward thinking,” Minister Flaherty told the society’s 47th Annual Seminar, hosted by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. “In Canada, we did not suffer a single bank or federally regulated insurance company bailout or failure. Our country’s financial institutions stood solid and steadfast, based on sound risk management and supported by a very effective regulatory and supervisory framework.”

In his address, the Minister noted that Canada’s banking system has been ranked the soundest in the world by the World Economic Forum for three years in a row, and that five Canadian financial institutions were recently named to Bloomberg’s list of the world’s strongest banks, more than any other country. He also summarized the factors behind the solid performance of the country’s financial system:

  • A strong regulatory framework, centred on robust capital and liquidity standards;
  • Effective supervision, with financial institutions supervised on a consolidated basis and clear responsibilities and powers for the Bank of Canada, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, and all pillars of the Canadian financial system; and
  • A strong housing market based on prudent lending standards, recourse by lenders to a borrower’s other assets, and mortgage interest that is not tax-deductible.

Minister Flaherty added that, as a result of this performance under adversity, Canada is playing an increasingly influential role in the collective efforts to repair the global financial system. Examples include chairing the Financial Stability Board’s Standing Committee on Standards Implementation, co-chairing the Group of Twenty (G-20) Working Group on Enhancing Sound Regulation and Strengthening Transparency, and hosting a G-20 summit that led to a collective agreement on important financial sector reforms.

“The global recovery remains fragile, and as developments in Europe illustrate, significant financial risks remain,” said Minister Flaherty. “The world has had to take some painful and extraordinary measures to repair the system that connects all of us. Canada is living proof that you can indeed find opportunity in an uncertain world—if you prepare for hard times, act decisively when they darken your doorstep, and never allow a temporary crisis to become a long-term problem.”

For further information, media may contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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