News Column

Harper Government Helps Ensure Consumers Are Informed About Their Banking

September 3, 2014



OTTAWA, Ontario, Sept. 3 -- The Department of Finance Canada issued the following news release:

Minister of Finance Joe Oliver today welcomed a series of voluntary commitments from Canada's eight major banks and smaller banks to help consumers make more informed choices by providing more information on powers of attorney and joint deposit accounts, as well as on collateral charge mortgages.

This development builds on additional voluntary commitments secured from eight major banks in May to enhance low-cost bank accounts and offer no-cost accounts with the same features as low-cost accounts to a wider range of eligible consumers. This second announcement further demonstrates the Harper Government's commitment, as stated in the 2013 Speech from the Throne, to put Canadian consumers first by improving the fairness and transparency of financial services.

Quick Facts

- In Economic Action Plan 2014, the Harper Government called on banks to enhance disclosure of the cost and benefits of using powers of attorney and joint accounts and to provide more robust bank processes and staff training.

- Banks have voluntarily committed to disclose information about powers of attorney and joint deposit accounts on their websites by September 1, 2014 and in their branches by December 31, 2014, and will implement staff training on powers of attorney and joint deposit accounts by March 31, 2015.

- Banks also committed to disclose key information on residential mortgages taken on by consumers. Banks will implement this commitment by the following dates:

- General information has been posted on their websites by September 1, 2014.

- General information available in branches, at points of service where residential mortgages are offered, and at the request of consumers by November 30, 2014.

- Specific information for the individual consumer on their own mortgage at the time of or before entering into the mortgage loan agreement by January 31, 2015.

- In May, eight major banks committed to enhance low-cost bank accounts and offer no-cost accounts with the same features as low-cost accounts to a wider range of eligible consumers. No-cost accounts will be available to youth, students, seniors qualifying for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and Registered Disability Savings Plan beneficiaries, totalling about 7 million customers. These voluntary guidelines will come into force by January 15, 2015.

Quotes

"I welcome the voluntary commitments that our banks have made to enhance the disclosure of information related to collateral charge mortgages and powers of attorney and joint deposit accounts. These commitments will protect Canadians making financial decisions and demonstrate how the Government is again putting consumers first in the financial sector."

- Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance

Related Products

- Backgrounder: Voluntary Commitments by Eight Major Banks on Collateral Charge Mortgages http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/data/14-115_1-eng.asp

- Backgrounder: Voluntary Commitments by Eight Major Banks on Powers of Attorney and Joint Deposit Accounts http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/data/14-115_2-eng.asp

Additional Links

- Economic Action Plan 2014 http://www.budget.gc.ca/2014/docs/plan/toc-tdm-eng.html - Recent Financial Consumer Initiatives http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/data/13-046_1-eng.asp

- Mortgage Basics http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng/resources/educationalPrograms/ft-of/Pages/mortgages-2-7.aspx

- Joint Accounts http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng/forConsumers/topics/banking/Pages/JointAcc-Comptesc.aspx

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