Standing Up For Consumers

Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson held a roundtable in Winnipeg this morning on the development of a new and comprehensive financial consumer code.

Our Government will 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 we are continuing that discussion through these roundtables.

We will consider this input when developing legislation that will be more flexible and forward-looking and ensure that Canadians have the necessary information to make responsible financial decisions.

So far our 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.

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