How FCAC protects financial consumers
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) protects the rights and interests of consumers of financial products and services in 2 main ways:
- by supervising the market conduct of federally regulated financial entities
- by strengthening the financial literacy of Canadians
Supervising financial institutions
As a federal regulator, FCAC supervises the compliance of regulated entities, such as banks, with consumer protections measures set out in legislation, public commitments and codes of conduct.
Consumer protections promote access to basic banking services. They also help to prevent and address unfair, deceptive or abusive practices.
These include the right of Canadians to:
- open a personal deposit account at any bank and to cash a Government of Canada cheque for free
- receive clear and simple information about the products and services they are offered by a financial institution
- only be provided products and services that they agree to, which is called express consent
- make a complaint through a financial institution’s complaint-handling process
Learn more about supervising financial institutions.
Learn more about new and enhanced protections for bank customers.
FCAC also protects the rights of businesses that accept credit and debit card payments. These businesses, also called merchants, have a right to receive clear and simple information from credit card companies about the costs of accepting credit card payments, among other rights.
Learn more about the rights of merchants.
Strengthening financial literacy
One of the ways FCAC protects consumers of financial products and services is by strengthening their financial literacy. This work is guided by FCAC’s National Financial Literacy Strategy 2021-2026, a 5-year plan to create a more accessible, inclusive, and effective financial ecosystem for all Canadians.
In support of the National Strategy, FCAC conducts research that is evidence-based, measurable and draws on behavioural science to improve outcomes for financial consumers.
FCAC also provides unbiased and fact-based information and tools to help Canadians make informed financial decisions. Topics include:
- Managing your money
- Debt and borrowing
- Pensions and retirement
- Managing your financial health in challenging times
- Financial rights and responsibilities
- Understanding your credit report and score
- Financial tools and calculators
Consumer Services Centre
The Consumer Services Centre is FCAC’s main point of contact for financial consumers and merchants for information related to the Agency’s mandate.
The Consumer Services Centre helps consumers and merchants by responding to inquiries about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial institutions. Through these inquiries, FCAC gets important and timely information on consumer complaints, issues and trends that help inform the Agency’s approach to its supervision of financial institutions and its consumer education activities.
FCAC reviews complaints it receives, and the nature of these complaints may inform supervisory actions as outlined in the Supervision Framework.
Contact us by email, telephone or mail.
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