Receiving financial documents electronically

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Federally regulated financial institutions are required to provide certain information about their products and services to consumers in writing or electronically if you so choose. Some examples of the types of information your financial institution must provide are listed below.

  • Bank accounts:
    • a copy of your account agreement
    • information about all account fee increases or new charges that apply to your account
  • Credit cards:
    • a copy of your credit agreement
    • a monthly statement (unless there have been no transactions on the account and the balance is less than $10)
    • a disclosure statement with an information box that highlights key features such as the interest rate and other fees
  • Mortgages:
    • a copy of your mortgage agreement
    • an initial mortgage disclosure statement with an information box that highlights key features such as the interest rate and other fees
    • a mortgage renewal statement at least 21 days before the end of the existing term
  • Insurance:
    • a copy of your insurance policy

If you give your consent, a federally regulated financial institution may provide required information such as the above documents to you in electronic format rather than as paper documents. For example, with your consent, the financial institution may send documents to an email address that you provide, or send you a notice by email that the documents have been posted on the financial institution’s website for you to read there.

Your rights

  • Before providing you with any mandatory information in electronic format instead of on paper, federally regulated financial institutions must get your consent (verbally or in writing, in paper or electronic form)
  • Before getting your written consent, federally regulated financial institutions must tell you the following information (unless your consent applies on a one-time basis):
    • when consent takes effect
    • that you have the right to revoke your consent at any time
    • the amount of time that the financial institution will make the electronic document available to you and the fact that you are responsible for keeping a copy of the electronic document
  • If you provide consent verbally, the financial institution must provide you, without delay, with all of the information listed in the previous bullet, in paper or electronic format
  • You may revoke your consent at any time. If you revoke your consent, the financial institution must provide you with confirmation (in paper or electronic form) specifying when the revocation of consent takes effect
  • If you provide consent, the financial institution must give you a list of the documents that are covered by the consent
  • If a financial institution provides you with a required document electronically, including the document used to get your consent, you must be able to save it for future reference
  • All mandatory documents provided to you in electronic format must be in clear language and not misleading

Your responsibilities

  • If your financial institution offers to provide documents in electronic format, before making a decision, think about how you will save and access the information if you need to do so in the future
  • Review the types of mandatory information you currently receive in writing from your financial institution and decide whether you want to receive them electronically
  • If you agree to receive information electronically, you must provide the financial institution with the email address you are designating to receive the electronic documents
  • Once you agree to receive information electronically, it is your responsibility to notify the financial institution of any changes to your email address or other contact information
  • When you receive an electronic document from your financial institution or you receive notice that information is posted on the financial institution’s website, review the documents being made available to you
  • Save any documents that you receive electronically if you think that you will need to refer to them in the future

Note: Beware of spoofing or phishing emails pretending to be from a financial institution. These types of emails typically ask you to enter or verify personal information (such as a credit card number, an online banking password or a social insurance number) that is captured by the fraudster. Once they have someone's personal information, fraudsters will usually try to take money out of the victim's bank account, use credit cards or open new credit accounts.

Financial institutions will never ask you to provide personal, login or account information by email. Always enter your financial institution’s website address in the browser yourself and do not click on links in these types of emails.

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