FCAC new consumer information – electronic alerts

Le français suit l’anglais.

As of June 30, 2022, banks will be required to send electronic alerts to their customers to help them manage their finances and avoid unnecessary fees.  Some banks have already started sending these alerts to their customers.  The electronic alerts are part of the new and enhanced protections in Canada’s Financial Consumer Protection Framework (the Framework) that comes into effect on June 30, 2022.

To inform Canadians about electronic alerts and their benefits, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) published new consumer information on electronic alerts, developed an infographic, and prepared social media content that you can use on your own social media channels.

Under the Framework, banks will be required to:

  • disclose key information to help their customers make timely and informed decisions
  • provide customers with more timely complaint-handling services
  • offer and sell products or services to customers that are appropriate for their circumstances
  • respect new rules to avoid misleading customers or applying undue pressure on customers when selling them products and service

À compter du 30 juin 2022, les banques seront tenues d’envoyer des alertes électroniques à leurs clients afin de les aider à gérer leurs finances et à éviter de payer inutilement des frais, ce que certaines ont déjà commencé à faire. Ces alertes font partie des mesures de protection nouvelles ou améliorées prévues dans le Cadre de protection des consommateurs de produits et services financiers du Canada (le Cadre) qui entre en vigueur le 30 juin 2022. 

Pour informer les Canadiens et les Canadiennes à propos des alertes électroniques et de leurs avantages, l’Agence de la consommation en matière financière du Canada (ACFC) a publié de nouveaux renseignements à ce sujet pour les consommateurs. Elle a également créé une infographie et préparé du contenu pour les réseaux sociaux que vous pouvez utiliser dans vos propres comptes de médias sociaux.  

En vertu des dispositions du Cadre, les banques seront tenues :  

  • de communiquer aux consommateurs des renseignements importants pour les aider à prendre des décisions éclairées en temps opportun;
  • de fournir à leurs clients des services plus rapides de traitement des plaintes;
  • de veiller à ce que les produits et services qu’elles offrent ou vendent à leurs clients leur conviennent, compte tenu de leur situation;
  • de respecter de nouvelles règles de protection des consommateurs afin d’éviter de leur fournir des renseignements trompeurs ou d’exercer des pressions indues sur eux lorsqu’elles leur offrent ou leur vendent des produits et services.



The Comeback Generation: Pandemic is inspiring Gen Z to build financial resilience

The coronavirus pandemic has tested the limits of Canadians over the past 20 months. What began as a health crisis quickly morphed into an economic crisis, with the spread of COVID‑19 shocking large segments of the economy and leaving many without paycheques. While no generation has been unaffected by the pandemic, the economic impact was distributed unevenly. Many younger Canadians in Generation Z, or Gen Z, have had their education disrupted, career plans changed, and financial prospects diminished largely because they are overrepresented in the highly affected service sector, according to a new survey by the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA).

The survey was published to mark Financial Literacy Month, which takes place each November, and found that more than half (53 per cent) of Gen Z respondents (aged 18‑25) felt the pandemic upended their financial security, with that number rising to 73 per cent for those in less stable financial situations. At the same time, nine‑in‑ten (88 per cent) Gen Zers are feeling optimistic about their financial futures, and nearly all of them (98 per cent) are actively making plans to strengthen their financial resilience.

"Gen Z was dealt a disproportionately tough hand during the pandemic, but it has also shown incredible resilience in channeling its natural gifts for perseverance, adaptability and motivation," says Neil Parmenter, President and CEO, Canadian Bankers Association. "Despite the setbacks, younger Canadians are eager to forge ahead, be prepared for the unexpected and build bright futures as our economy recovers."



Pilot Study: Buy Now, Pay Later Services in Canada

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has published a pilot study on the use and understanding of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services in Canada as part of the Agency’s research on emerging consumers trends.

Similar to instalment loans, BNPL services allow consumers to purchase goods and services and pay for them over time, either by spreading their payments out into equal, smaller instalments, or by delaying their payments.

Among those surveyed, 34% indicated that they were familiar with these services, and 8% indicated that they had used at least one such service between September 2019 to March 2021. The most common items purchased this way included furniture or appliances (39%), electronics (32%), and clothing and fashion (23%); however, some consumers used the services for household essentials (8%) and groceries (5%). As these findings are based on a small sample, additional research is needed to establish a more comprehensive picture of how Canadians use and understand BNPL services.



State of Fair Banking in Canada 2020: Borrower and Lender Perspectives

The DUCA Impact Lab defines fair banking as any financial product or service that lives up to the following set of principles:

  • Pricing is clear, transparent, and well understood
  • Pricing is representative of the cost of funds, cost of administration and risk, rather than what the market will bear
  • It is clear to all parties how any personal data is being used by the lender
  • Personal data is only used for purposes agreed to by both the borrower and lender
  • The terms and conditions, including penalties and the rights of each party are clearly explained and well understood by both lender and borrower
  • Products are only recommended that will bring the borrower closer to their expressed goals
  • The borrower is clear on what the institution will do (and not do), with deposits to earn a return
  • The assessment of risk is objective, transparent and not prejudicial
  • Financial institution recommendations are not biased towards in-house product recommendations
  • Products empower consumers when they need access to financial services, not just when they do not

Their Fair Banking 2020 report presents data on the following areas:

  • Debt load and its impact on Canadians
  • Financial confidence
  • Divide between borrowers and lenders
  • How financial products are priced
  • Poor credit and ability to access to financial product and services
  • Demographic snapshot: People of colour and Indigenous Canadians

 



Retirement Security and Financial Decision-making: Research Brief

A growing number of retirees are not experiencing the expected gradual reduction in spending after they retire. This report summarizes the findings of a Bureau study into whether people who retired between 1992 and 2014 had the income, savings, and/or non-housing assets to maintain the same level of spending for at least five consecutive years after retiring. The study found that about half of people who retired between 1992 and 2014 had income, savings, and/or non-housing assets to maintain the same spending level for five consecutive years after retiring. In addition, the Bureau found that the ability to maintain the same spending level in the first five years in retirement was associated with large spending cuts in later years. The study helps identify ways to protect retirees from overspending their savings in early retirement.



Bien choisir son crédit : un guide pratique [A Practical Guide to Making Smart Credit Choices]

A guide comprised of 12 fact sheets for consumers to learn more about credit, grouped into the following topics: general information, warnings, credit products, and comparison tables. (Please note this is a French-language resource.)



Four Actions That Can Hurt Credit Scores

During the Four Actions that Can Hurt Credit Scores webinar, you'll learn about:

  • Key events which can bring down credit scores
  • How collections are reported to credit bureaus and how long they affect scores
  • What can happen to credit scores when you apply for too much credit in a short amount of time

Their guest speaker is Julie Kuzmic, the Director of Consumer Advocacy at Equifax Canada, and a recognized authority on consumer credit. In her role leading consumer advocacy within the organization, Julie helps Canadians build credit confidence.



COVID-19 Financial Resource Centre

Credit Canada has pulled together financial information from trusted sources and released original content to help Canadians manage their finances during COVID-19.



Quarterly Consumer Credit Trends: Recent trends in debt settlement and credit counseling

This report used a longitudinal, nationally-representative sample of approximately five million de-identified credit records maintained by one of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies. Trends in debt settlement and credit counseling during the Great Recession and in recent years are presented. This report shows that nearly one in thirteen consumers with a credit record had at least one account settled through a creditor or had account payments managed by a credit counseling agency from 2007 through 2019. Since 2016, the number of debt settlements has increased steadily, while credit counseling numbers are relatively unchanged.



Roadblock to Recovery: Consumer debt of low- and moderate-income Canadians in the time of COVID-19

Almost half of low-income households and 62 per cent of moderate-income households carry debt, with households on low incomes spending 31 per cent of their income on debt repayments, according to a new report published by national charity, Prosper Canada.

This report analyzes the distribution, amount and composition of non-mortgage debt held by low- and moderate-income Canadian households and explores implications for federal and provincial/territorial policy makers as they develop and implement COVID-19 economic recovery plans and fulfill their respective regulatory roles.