Archived - Backgrounder Amendments to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act

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Canadians need to make important financial decisions for themselves and their families. Whether it is saving for retirement, saving for a child’s education or financing a new home, the range of possible options is growing and financial products and services are becoming more sophisticated.

In 2009, the Government of Canada conducted the Canadian Financial Capabilities Survey,whichprovided insight into levels of financial literacy in different segments of the population. The survey found that Aboriginal people, recent immigrants and Canadians with low incomes face particular challenges.

Initiatives to address these challenges are currently underway across the country, and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is playing a key role in this regard. Created in 2001 with the dual mandate to protect and educate consumers of financial products, the FCAC delivers a host of online tools and publications, including a web-based program for high school students designed to teach skills integral to financial well-being later on in life.

Building on the success of initiatives such as these, the federal government appointed the Task Force on Financial Literacy in 2009 to report back with recommendations on how to move forward with a national strategy on financial literacy. The Task Force launched a public consultation with Canadians in February 2010, holding 17 sessions in 15 communities across the country. The Task Force received more than 300 submissions, as well as an additional 280 comments through its online forum.

The Task Force delivered its final report in February 2011, which contained 30 recommendations on how to move forward with a cohesive strategy to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians.

The proposed amendments to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act to establish a Financial Literacy Leader within the Agency are a key step in addressing the Task Force’s recommendations. The Financial Literacy Leader will exercise leadership at the national level by collaborating and coordinating with stakeholders to contribute to and support initiatives that strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians.