Policy Submissions        Editorials        FAIR in the Media        Events        Trending        About Us
April 2018
FAIR Focus
April: Let Spring be a Time for Renewal (aka Reform) 

FAIR Canada wishes everyone a happy spring. We look forward to working with other stakeholders to improve investor protections for Canadians including changes that would permit investment firms and their representatives to play a constructive role in helping address the issues of elder financial abuse, financial exploitation and diminished mental capacity.

We will continue to work hard on behalf of retail investors and financial consumers on a number of fronts. We've "got your back!"

The Team at FAIR Canada
FAIR Canada Comments on BCSC Consultation regarding Fintech Regulation

FAIR Canada has provided comments to the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) regarding its consultation on fintech regulation. FAIR Canada's submission included:
  • comments on possible changes to the start-up crowdfunding exemption;
  • comments on the use of third parties to perform essential functions of online advisers or robo-advisors, as well as other developments such as permitting portfolios with complex investments; and
  • comments on the regulation of cryptocurrencies from the investor perspective.
FAIR Canada believes that fintech presents potential benefits and opportunities for consumers but may also present risks to investor protection that should be examined and addressed.

FAIR Canada urges the BCSC to give serious consideration to its previous recommendations on crowdfunding and the implementation of any changes in a way that affords the highest level of investor protection possible. With respect to cryptocurrencies, FAIR Canada notes that despite their increasing popularity, they remain extremely speculative, high-risk investments that are not suitable for most people, and can also be vehicles for individuals to carry out fraud and manipulation.

To read FAIR Canada's submission, please click  here

FAIR Canada Issues Statement on OSC's Draft 2018-2019 Statement of Priorities

Frank Allen, Executive Director of FAIR Canada said, "FAIR Canada welcomes the continuing strong commitment of the OSC to investor protection reflected in its draft 2018-19 Statement of Priorities, especially the OSC's stated intention to publish rule proposals for regulatory provisions to create a best interest standard. Closely related to a regulatory best interest standard is the important policy matter of eliminating embedded commissions. We believe it is now time for a regulatory decision rather than further policy recommendations and policy provisions and analysis of potential impacts as contemplated by the OSC's Statement of Priorities."

Marian Passmore, Director of Policy and COO commented, "We look forward to working with the OSC to implement their Seniors Strategy, and in particular, the development of an appropriate regulatory framework to address elder financial abuse and undue influence as well as decline in mental cognition, that balances the property rights and right of self-determination of older investors with the authority to combat financial exploitation and mental cognitive decline. FAIR Canada and CCEL conducted extensive research and issued a Vulnerable Investors Report which made 6 key recommendations that received widespread support."

"We are encouraged that the OSC will give prominent focus to securing the ability of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments to make decisions that are binding on its members so that there exists effective investor redress as a necessary part of the capital markets framework", added Mr. Allen.

FCAC Confirms Banks "Mis-selling" Products to Consumers 

Two of Canada's leading consumer groups, FAIR Canada and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), today welcomed a  government report that confirmed major Canadian banks incentivize their employees to "mis-sell" unsuitable financial products to Canadians.

However, the report, written after a lengthy investigation by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), did not detail which banks did what, how many products were involved, how many complaints were involved, or the extent of financial losses to consumers. There is no support for their key finding that they "did not find widespread mis-selling." Despite the lack of transparency, the report was clear that consumers' interests were made secondary to those of the bank and their employees and contractors.

"In fact, the FCAC's central finding from its investigation is that the predominant focus in retail banking is on the selling of products and services rather than appropriately prioritizing the interests of financial consumers", noted Frank Allen, Executive Director of FAIR Canada.

"This report shows  what PIAC has said all along," said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC. "Banking consumers need a Financial Consumer Code to protect the rights of Canadian banking customers."

Click here to read more. 

See  FAIR Canada and PIAC Backgrounder for more information.

FAIR Canada Welcomes Release of the Ontario Securities Commission's Seniors Strategy, OSC Staff Notice 11-779

FAIR Canada commends the Ontario Securities Commission ("OSC") for giving priority to the growing concerns related to vulnerable older investors with the release of its Seniors Strategy. We look forward to working with the OSC and other stakeholders on next steps and associated initiatives.

FAIR Canada is pleased to see that the Seniors Strategy addresses:
  • Issues of financial exploitation and cognitive impairment through developing a framework for investment firms and their representatives to play a critical role in abuse prevention and mitigation;
  • Misleading and confusing titles, designations and marketing practices;
  • The ability of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments ("OBSI") to secure redress for investors and improving the complaint system for Canadians, especially for seniors who make up a large proportion of complainants; and
  • The need for education and training for firms and their representatives as well as educational materials for older Canadians.
Click here to read more.
Media FAIR in the Media

Trending Trending
OSC investigating several firms involved in cryptocurrency exchanges and offerings

Ontario court awards $2.6-billion in Sino-Forest fraud case

About Want to know more about FAIR Canada?
Who is FAIR Canada and what does FAIR Canada do? Find out more about us here.
FAIR Canada | 647-256-6690 | info@faircanada.ca | http://www.faircanada.ca
36 King Street East
Suite 400
Toronto, ON  M5C 3B2