Agency overview (transition binder 2019)

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

FCAC at a glance

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is a government agency (established in 2001) with a mandate to protect Canadian financial consumers through:

  • Supervision of federally regulated financial entities
  • Financial literacy, consumer education and research

Supervision of federally regulated financial entities (FRFEs)

  • We ensure FRFEs comply with consumer protection measures

Financial literacy and consumer education

  • We promote financial consumer education and raise consumers’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities
  • We work to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians and empower individuals to make informed financial decisions

FCAC is

  • A department – within the meaning of the Financial Administration Act – presided over by the Minister of Finance
  • A separate employer for HR purposes
  • Able to enter into agreements in its own name, but requires Cabinet approval when it does so with provinces or territories
  • Funded through assessments of regulated entities, and statutory funding to support financial literacy

Commissioner appointed on good behaviour for a five-year term

  • Reports to Parliament through the Minister of Finance
  • Has rank of deputy head and power to appoint deputy Commissioners, which is separate from that under the Public Service Employment Act

The Department of Justice provides legal services to the FCAC

  • A legal team is co-located to provide ongoing support in the administration of statutes

Organizational structure

Text version – Organizational structure

As of March 2019, 127 term and indeterminate employees

  • Commissioner (Judith Robertson)
    • Commissioner’s Office (Marilyn Leblanc, Senior Advisor; Jane Rooney, Senior Advisor; Grace Giard, Executive Assistant)
    • Legal Services (Ekaterina Ohandjanian, Senior Legal Counsel)
    • Deputy Commissioner (Vacant)
      • Supervision and Promotion (Teresa Frick, A/Managing Director)
        • Promotion, Research and Policy
        • Supervision
        • Enforcement
      • Marketing and Communications (André-Marc Allain, Director)
        • Marketing and Creative Services
        • Communications and Writing Services
        • Consumer Services Centre
    • Financial Literacy Leader (Eliminated by Act of Parliament as of April 10, 2019)
      • Financial Literacy and Stakeholder Engagement (Jérémie Ryan, Director)
        • Financial Literacy
        • Partnership and Stakeholder Engagement
      • Education, Research and Policy (Vacant)
        • Consumer Education
        • Research and Policy
    • Human Resources (Julie Neveu, Chief Human Resources Officer)
      • HR Operations
      • HR Programs and Policies
    • Corporate Services (Werner Liedtke, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Commissioner (Corporate Services))
      • Corporate Reporting and Project Management
      • Finance and Administration
      • Information Management / Information Technology

Supervision and Promotion

  • Supervision strategies, policies, procedures and frameworks
  • Market conduct monitoring, examinations and industry reviews
  • Investigations and enforcement actions

Marketing and Communications

  • Communications and Marketing strategies
  • Graphic design and video production
  • Writing, editing and speeches
  • Outreach, event and sponsorship evaluation
  • Web and social media
  • Media relations and media monitoring
  • Consumer service centre

Financial Literacy and Stakeholder Engagement

  • National financial literacy strategies.
  • Educational programs, workshops, pilot projects
  • Consultations, conferences, stakeholder liaisons and committees management.
  • Collaboration and liaison with 18 financial literacy networks, federal, provincial partners, NGOs and other stakeholders

Education, Research and Policy

  • Information and tools to demystify financial products and services
  • Financial capability and well-being surveys, analysis of trends, emerging issues and other data
  • Financial education policy, including representing Canada in international fora

Human Resources

  • HR plans, strategies and reporting
  • Recruitment and staffing
  • Employee relations
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Corporate HR programs and policies
Corporate Services
  • Corporate planning and reporting
  • Project and change management
  • Financial management
  • Procurement and contracting
  • Accommodations and security
  • Infrastructure services
  • Information management
  • Business  analysis and intelligence

Federal landscape

FCAC works closely with the Department of Finance by providing subject matter expertise on topics related to financial consumer protection:

  • Commissioner is a member of the Senior Advisory Committee (SAC)
    • Comprised of the four federal financial sector oversight bodies and the Department of Finance
    • Provides policy advice related to the financial sector to the Minister of Finance
  • Commissioner is a member of the Financial Institutions Supervisory Committee (FISC)
    • Serves as a forum for information exchange on supervisory issues regarding federal financial institutions

Policy and legislative activities

  • FCAC and the Department of Finance collaborate on the development of financial consumer protection policy
  • FCAC works with stakeholders, including the Department of Finance to develop voluntary codes of conduct and public commitments
  • The Minister of Finance is responsible for introducing changes to legislation in Parliament
  • Legislative changes are typically informed by a consultative process, which includes active engagement with:
    • Industry
    • Consumer associations
    • Other key stakeholders

What we do

Strategic Priorities

Text version – Strategic priorities

The image shows the organization’s three areas of strategic focus, which are Integrate Change, Bolster the Organization and Deliver for Canadians.

The image also shows the values and behaviours guiding its employees, which are respect for democracy, respect for people, integrity, stewardship and excellence.

  • Strengthen FCAC’s role as a trusted regulator to protect financial consumers and empower them to protect themselves
  • Strengthen FCAC’s instrumental capacity to deliver its mandate in a way that keeps pace with a rapidly evolving financial sector
  • Deliver value and results for Canadians

Protecting Canadian consumers: Supervision of federally regulated financial entities

Who we regulate

378 federally regulated entities

  • All banks
  • Federal credit unions
  • Trust and loan companies
  • External complaint bodies
  • Insurance companies
  • Payment card networks operators

We do not regulate

  • Provincial credit unions or caisses populaires
  • Provincial insurance companies
  • Payday lenders
  • Credit reporting agencies
  • Provincial trust and loan companies
  • Securities dealers

What we regulate

The FCAC Act sets out the following objects for supervision:

  • To supervise regulated entities and determine whether they are complying with legislative obligations, voluntary codes of conduct and public commitments that are overseen by FCAC
  • To promote the adoption by regulated entities of policies and procedures designed to implement their market conduct obligations
  • To monitor and evaluate trends and emerging issues that may have an impact on financial consumers, and to collaborate with other government agencies, regulators and stakeholders to foster an understanding of financial services and related issues
  • Federal legislation and regulations
    • Legislation (e.g. Bank Act, Insurance companies Act, Trust and Loans Companies Act, etc.)
    • Regulations (e.g. Cost of Borrowing (Banks) Regulations, Disclosure of Charges (Banks), Credit Business Practices (Banks, Authorized Foreign Banks, Trust and Loan Companies, Retail Associations, Canadian Insurance Companies and Foreign Insurance Companies), etc.)
  • Voluntary codes of conduct (e.g.)
    • Debit Card Code of Conduct
    • Credit and Debit Card Code of Conduct (Merchants)
    • Mortgage Prepayment Penalty Code of Conduct
  • Public commitments
    • Zero Liability Public Commitments

How we regulate: Supervision Framework

Infographic – FCAC Supervision Framework

Commissioner adjudicative function

  • FCAC can enforce non-compliance through proceedings
  • Initiating proceedings engages the Commissioner quasi-judicial role
  • Commissioner’s decision can be judicially challenged
  • The Commissioner is supported by a senior legal counsel
  • The Commissioner’s senior advisor manages the administration proceedings

Protecting Canadian consumers: Financial literacy, consumer education and research

How we strengthen financial literacy

We lead the National Strategy for Financial Literacy – Count me in, Canada

  • FCAC sets out national goals and priorities to help Canadians better manage their finances
  • FCAC collaborates with stakeholders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors to achieve the goals of the strategy

We define financial literacy as having the skills, knowledge and confidence to make informed financial decisions

How we educate consumers

We provide consumers with:

  • Information about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with federal financial institutions
  • Unbiased information about financial products and services
  • Access to tools and calculators to manage their personal finances
  • Financial literacy programs
  • Access to a national database of financial literacy resources offered by providers across the public, private and non-for-profit sectors across Canada

Research and policy function

  • Monitoring and evaluating trends and emerging issues that may have an impact on consumers of financial products and services
  • Analyzing data to identify key priority areas of research and policy focus related to financial services
  • Identifying and making recommendations for policy and programs based on empirical evidence
  • Representing Canada in international financial policy fora
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