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December 2016
FAIR Focus
FAIR Canada's Monthly Review
FAIR Canada's 2017 Wish List
With 2016 drawing to a close and a new year imminent, FAIR Canada has drafted a wish list of investor protection initiatives it would like to see implemented in the upcoming year:
1. Implement a best interests standard
There is a distinct expectations gap between what is required of "advisors" and what is expected by consumers. Consumers are led to believe that advisors make recommendations in their best interest, but no such standard is actually in place. Often, consumers are unaware that the financial services providers that they receive "advice" from are simply salespeople pushing high-cost financial products. When things go awry, advisors' defense is that the investments were "suitable", which is a much lower standard. FAIR Canada wishes that "advisors" were required to provide advice that is in the consumer's best interest, in line with consumer expectations.
2. Ban all forms of third-party embedded commissions (particularly trailing commissions) and encourage real price competition between mutual funds
Trailing commissions carry serious potential for conflicts of interest and present high, opaque costs to consumers. Conflicts of interest are structural and systemic, harming not only investors but the market itself, as demonstrated by Professor Cumming's research.  FAIR Canada wishes that securities regulators would take action and ban trailing commissions.
3. Have one statutory, national ombudservice with the power to make binding decisions
FAIR Canada wishes that steps would be taken to have a single, national, statutory ombudservice in Canada with the power to make binding decisions for any investment complaint. FAIR Canada believes this is vital to the integrity of the Canadian financial services market and the protection of Canadian consumers. Consumers deserve to have a process where there is a level playing field and where there are fair outcomes.

See the rest of our wish list here.

We have many other wishes for 2017, but we will limit our list to 6 items. FAIR Canada is thankful for the input it has received over the past year from our newsletter subscribers and others about issues of importance to you. We thank you for reading and encourage you to write to us about other wish list items you would add to the list for 2017.
We wish you a very happy holiday season and a "FAIR" and happy New Year! 

The Team at FAIR Canada 
As your think about charitable donations for 2016 we ask that you consider FAIR Canada.

  FAIR Canada is a unique national charitable organization that has been representing the voice of investors and financial consumers for the past 8 years. FAIR Canada is the preeminent representative of the Canadian investing public in securities regulation. 
As regulators and governments consider complex issues affecting the financial well-being of most Canadians, FAIR Canada ensures that the retail investor and consumer perspective informs the discussion. FAIR Canada has been active in the following reforms that have been announced or are being considered:
  • A financial reward-based whistleblower program at the Ontario Securities Commission - FAIR Canada called for this reform and provided input on the proposed policy
  • The need for a new financial services regulator to replace FSCO - FAIR Canada provided input to the Expert Panel and to FSCO
  • Advocating for the need for a statutory best interest standard to govern the relationship of financial services firms with their clients
  • Reform of mutual fund fee structures to remove the misalignment of incentives between advisors and consumers, to ensure that the cost of products and advice are clear and transparent, and to facilitate effective price competition
  • The need for regulators and governments to support the mandate of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments in providing a single, independent dispute resolution service for investment complaints that is fair, low-cost and effective including the need for binding decision making
We will continue to work on your behalf, focusing on our strategic priorities . To continue this work on a sustainable, long-term basis, FAIR Canada needs your financial support.

How to Donate
You can make an on-line donation to FAIR Canada through .  Easy and secure online donations can be made by credit or debit card. As FAIR Canada is a registered charity, you will receive an online tax receipt for your donation.
Donations of securities are also greatly appreciated, and that can also be done online through There is no capital gains tax on donated securities, so your donation benefits from both a charitable deduction and exception from capital gains tax.
You can also donate by sending a cheque to our mailing address in which case you will receive a tax receipt by mail. 
If you are generously considering a donation in excess of $1,000, we ask that you contact our Office Administrator Erika Aucoin by email at or telephone at (416) 214-3404 to make a donation directly to FAIR Canada.
FAIR Canada has reviewed and provided the Federal Ministry of Finance with comments on the consultation document "Supporting a Strong and Growing Economy: Positioning Canada's Financial Sector for the Future" for the review of the Canada's federal financial sector legislative and regulatory framework.

FAIR Canada's comments highlight key trends that the Ministry should focus on in order to ensure that the Canadian financial services landscape adequately protects financial consumers, is efficient and effective and allows Canadian investors to have confidence in the financial services market. The comment letter also outlines many of the problems faced by consumers and provides recommendations that the Ministry should keep top of mind when conducting the review of the federal financial services sector.  

To continue reading click here.
Media FAIR in the Media
Investment Executive - Giving investors a voice 

Wealth Professional - FAIR Canada urges added controls to conflicts of interest

The Insurance & Investment Journal - Don't just disclose sales incentives, ban them. 

The Insurance & Investment Journal - Advisors in Alberta: How do you like the proposed best interest standard? 
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