Research reports and studies

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Whether you are looking for the latest surveys or studies on consumer awareness, attitudes and behaviours, a report on our latest Conference on Financial Literacy or a plain-language account of the key findings of the 2014 Canadian Financial Capability Survey, this is the place to find it.

Publications by release date


Report on Best Practices in Financial Consumer Protection
May 2018

The report identifies best practices in financial consumer protection in place in Canada and globally.

Progress report: Canada’s National Research Plan on Financial Literacy 2016-2018
April 2018

This report describes the progress made in advancing financial literacy research in Canada since the release of the National Research Plan on Financial Literacy 2016-2018.

Domestic Bank Retail Sales Practices Review
March 2018

This report presents the findings and conclusions of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s review of the domestic retail sales practices of Canada’s six largest banks.

Improving financial literacy through mobile technology: Small Change pilot program outcomes
January 2018

This report presents the results of the Small Change mobile application pilot project launched by United Way Ottawa in collaboration with FCAC. The pilot project, which took place between November 2015 and March 2016, encouraged users of the app to set savings goals and change spending behaviours to reach those goals. Funds generated during the pilot through sponsorship were used to offer financial literacy services in the community, resulting in close to $4 million dollars in tax savings and various government benefits for low-income taxpayers.

This report was commissioned by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.


Home equity lines of credit: Market trends and consumer issues
June 2017

This report focuses on the market conduct of federally regulated lenders and on the risks posed to consumers by home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). It summarizes the Agency’s research findings, and explains how FCAC plans to respond to the risks identified.

Financial Literacy and Retirement Well‑Being in Canada: An Analysis of the 2014 Canadian Financial Capability Survey 
FCAC Research and Policy
May 2017

This report uses data from the 2014 Canadian Financial Capability Survey to model the impact of an increase in financial literacy on the financial well-being of retirees and the retirement planning of near-retirees. 

Initiating budgeting behaviour among non-budgeters: A financial literacy pilot using mobile technology
FCAC Research and Policy
April 2017

As a means of exploring innovative ways of reaching and engaging Canadians, FCAC piloted its financial education material through the Carrot Rewards mobile application. This report explores the impact of FCAC’s financial education materials on knowledge, confidence, and behaviours related to budgeting.

The Path Towards Smarter, More Targeted, and More Effective Financial literacy: Post-symposium Report
FCAC Research and Policy
April 2017

In November 2016, FCAC hosted a National Research Symposium on Financial Literacy in Moncton, New Brunswick. This report highlights research projects in the field of financial literacy, which were presented at the Symposium, with the goal of informing the work of many other stakeholders on a nation-wide basis.

National Research Plan on Financial Literacy 2016-2018
FCAC Research and Policy
April 2017

This document presents Canada’s 2016-2018 National Research Plan for Financial Literacy. The objective of the Plan is to focus efforts and enhance coordination among researchers to generate key empirical evidence that will contribute to the successful implementation of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy—Count me in, Canada.

Financial Consumers’ Rights and Responsibilities – 2016
Ipsos Public Affairs Canada
February 2017

Ipsos Public Affairs Canada conducted a national survery of 2,000 Canadians to measure the extent to which Canadians are aware of their financial rights and responsibilities.

This study was commissioned by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.


Payday Loans: Market Trends 
FCAC Research and Policy
October 2016 

FCAC conducted a national survey of 1,500 Canadian payday loan users to inform the Agency’s approach to educating consumers.

The Role of Financial Literacy in Financial Decisions and Retirement Preparedness Among Seniors and Near-seniors – Executive Summary (PDF, 244 KB)
Taylor Shek-wai Hui, Cam Nguyen, Boris Palameta and David Gyarmati, The Social Research and Demonstration Corporation
May 2016

Compared to younger Canadians, seniors score the lowest on assessments of financial knowledge, but rate their financial confidence as the highest of any age group. This report examines the impact of this gap between financial knowledge and financial confidence on the ability of seniors to meet their financial needs in retirement.

This study was commissioned by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

The Link Between Financial Confidence and Financial Outcomes Among Working-aged Canadians – Executive Summary (PDF, 276 KB)
Boris Palameta, Cam Nguyen, Taylor Shek-wai Hui and David Gyarmati, The Social Research and Demonstration Corporation
May 2016

This study examines the links between financial knowledge, financial confidence and a range of important financial outcomes among working-aged Canadians. It draws attention to psychological underpinnings of financial decision-making and emphasizes the central importance of financial confidence in financial decision-making, behaviours and outcomes.

The report was commissioned by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

This report evaluates trends and issues in Canada’s auto finance market. It focuses on the risks posed to consumers by non-prime loans and car loans with terms in excess of five years (i.e., extended-term loans), such as negative equity, buying too much car, and the auto-debt treadmill. The report covers FCAC’s response to the risks identified, including the supervision of auto loans offered by federally regulated lenders (e.g., banks) to ensure compliance with federal consumer protection laws and the development of new education material to help consumers make responsible choices.

This report relays key findings from the 2014 Canadian Financial Capability Survey with specific emphasis on managing money and debt wisely, and planning and saving for the future. It identifies areas of strength in Canadians’ financial literacy and draws attention to opportunities for improvement.

This report presents the findings from a survey of FCAC’s stakeholders, the purpose of which was to understand stakeholder knowledge and perceptions of FCAC; obtain their feedback about various aspects of the organization’s activities in order to improve various elements of its programs and activities; obtain feedback to help improve its dealings with stakeholders; and gauge key stakeholders’ perceptions about potential actions that they believe would be important for FCAC to consider during its business planning cycle. The survey was two-fold: 180 FCAC stakeholders completed an online survey and from that group, 99 stakeholders were selected for follow-up, in-depth telephone interviews.  The survey was conducted between October 6 and December 12, 2014.

International Review: Mobile Payments and Consumer Protection (PDF, 554 KB, 54 pages)
Charles Gibney, Steve Trites, Nicole Ufoegbune and Bruno Lévesque
January 2015

This report reviews international developments in the regulation of mobile payments from a consumer protection perspective. The authors discuss the unique market conditions that have led to the evolution of m-payment ecosystems in various countries and the resulting evolution of consumer protection regulatory frameworks.

The authors conducted a series of key informant interviews with experts and organizations engaged either directly or indirectly in the field of financial literacy, specifically in respect of the challenges facing seniors in Canada. A number of recommendations are reported, which aim to provide guidance regarding those aspects of seniors’ financial literacy that may require further exploration or further attention.

This report was commissioned by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Banking Fees in Canada: Patterns and Trends (PDF, 1,728 KB, 53 pages)
Charles Gibney, Sami Bibi and Bruno Lévesque
June 2014

In Banking Fees in Canada: Patterns and Trends, the authors examine the evolution of the service charges related to chequing accounts over the past decade. The study looks into trends for both the price of retail banking services offered in the market as well as what Canadian consumers report paying to do their day-today banking transactions. The report also includes a discussion of the effectiveness of the low-cost accounts offered by eight of Canada’s large banks.

The analysis conducted in this report builds on an existing large scale research project, UPSKILL. The analysis included two primary components. First, a regression analysis was conducted to explore the relationship between financial capability and various individual factors including socio-demographics, confidence and attitudinal measures, and skills and knowledge. Second, an impact analysis was conducted utilizing the experimental design, to measure the effect of UPSKILL training on financial capability domains — making ends meet, keeping track and planning ahead.

This work was commissioned by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.


Mobile Payments and Consumer Protection in Canada (PDF, 956 KB, 65 pages)
Steve Trites, Charles Gibney and Bruno Lévesque
December 2013

Many observers expect mobile payments to be widely adopted over the near term. In Mobile Payments and Consumer Protection in Canada the authors examine risks associated with the emergence of this new payment method and assess the extent to which financial consumers in Canada are protected when making mobile payments.

The authors summarize the status of electronic payment models, with a focus on mobile payment. In particular, consumer adoption and other issues related to mobile payment and its implications are reported.

This work was commissioned by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

This report summarizes and discusses the major themes that arose during the joint FCAC-OECD conference in May 2011, “Partnering to Turn Financial Literacy Into Action.”

This report is a synthesis on "Canadians and Their Money: A National Symposium on Financial Capability" held on June 9-10, 2005 in Ottawa. This report provides a starting point for a new stage of discussion on financial capability in Canada.

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