FCAC to monitor banks’ compliance with new voluntary code of conduct to protect seniors
July 25, 2019
Today, the banking industry adopted a Code of Conduct for the Delivery of Banking Services to Seniors (the code). The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) will monitor banks to ensure they comply with the code.
The code is an important first step in guiding banks in their delivery of services to meet the needs of seniors. Banks who have signed on to the code must abide by its principles.
The code will come into effect by January 1, 2021. However, effective immediately, banks must abide by principles 5 and 6, which will require them to mitigate potential financial harm to seniors and take into account market demographics and the needs of seniors when proceeding with branch closures.
Should FCAC find that a bank has breached a voluntary code, it will take appropriate action as outlined in its Supervision Framework.
FCAC will continue to engage with seniors’ groups, financial institutions and other public, private, not for profit and academic sector stakeholders on specific issues related to seniors and banking.
“As Canadians live longer, some seniors may face challenges that impact their ability to bank. This voluntary code of conduct marks an important first step in guiding banks in their delivery of products and services that meet the needs of seniors. FCAC will actively monitor banks’ compliance with this code and ensure its principles are upheld.”
Werner Liedtke, Assistant Commissioner, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
"Our Government is committed to making banking safer and more secure for seniors. As part of this commitment we called for the creation of a code of conduct to guide banks in their delivery of banking products and services to seniors. This code will contribute to a positive banking experience that meets the needs of seniors.”
The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors
Voluntary codes are commitments that banks make to their customers. They outline obligations to which industries agree to adhere. They also provide clarity around key issues, and encourage federally regulated financial institutions to conduct themselves in ways that benefit them and consumers.
The Fall Economic Statement 2018 issued by the Minister of Finance stated that “the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada will engage with banks and seniors’ groups to create a code of conduct to guide banks in their delivery of services to Canada’s seniors.”
FCAC engaged with seniors’ groups, financial institutions and experts to identify banking challenges experienced by Canadian seniors. The Agency also conducted public opinion research.
The code’s principles guide banks in their delivery of banking products and services to Canada’s seniors.
FCAC’s Supervision Framework describes how the Agency fulfills its legislative mandate to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with financial consumer protection requirements.
Seniors are a rapidly growing segment of Canada’s population. Canadians are living longer, which can bring health, mobility or cognitive changes that may impact their ability to bank.
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
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