Financial Consumer Agency of Canada publishes 2017-2018 Annual Report
October 4, 2018
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has released its 2017–2018 annual report. The report covers FCAC’s significant work from April 1, 2017 to March 30, 2018. It details the Agency’s efforts to protect financial consumers and help them make informed financial decisions.
Major consumer protection initiatives during the year included the publication of two industry review reports. The Agency’s first review, entitled Home equity lines of credit: Market trends and consumer issues found that HELOCs may put some Canadians at risk of over-borrowing. Additionally, FCAC’s Domestic Bank Retail Sales Practices Review found that retail banking culture is anchored in sales, which can raise risks for consumers. It also found that governance frameworks and controls put in place by banks to mitigate these risks are underdeveloped.
FCAC also published a report on Best Practices in Financial Consumer Protection, which found Canada’s federal financial consumer protection framework to be strong, while also noting areas where it could be strengthened.
Commissioner Lucie Tedesco established a new Consumer Protection Advisory Committee to strengthen consumer protection by informing FCAC’s supervision work, research initiatives and the development of consumer education material.
Under the financial literacy program, the Agency continued to extend the reach and impact of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy—Count me in, Canada. During the year, FCAC and its National Steering Committee for Financial Literacy laid the groundwork for major new initiatives to assist adult learners in the workplace, and in Indigenous communities. FCAC and its research partners also published new empirical evidence of the impact of financial literacy interventions in a progress report on Canada’s National Research Plan for Financial Literacy.
The Agency conducted a number of investigations to determine whether regulated entities engaged in practices that violated the consumer provisions under the Bank Act. The Agency’s work to protect financial consumers led financial institutions to reimburse almost $6 million to more than 1 million consumer accounts.
“In the fifth year of my mandate, I have had the privilege to lead a team dedicated to protecting financial consumers and helping Canadians achieve and maintain financial wellbeing. It has been my good fortune to work with such professionals and to head an organization with such an invaluable social purpose.”
Lucie Tedesco, Commissioner, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
In 2017-2018, FCAC:
- supervised 375 federally regulated financial entities
- imposed administrative monetary penalties totalling $580,000
- handled 10,946 communications received by the Consumer Services Centre
- logged 2,660,221 views on its webpages, with its online financial tools and calculators seen 614,409 times
- published 1,535 resources to the Canadian Financial Literacy Database
- issued two industry review reports
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
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