OTTAWA, Oct. 6, 2017 /CNW/ - The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has published its 2016-2017 Annual Report: Protect – Inform – Collaborate. The report shows how FCAC protected financial consumers and strengthened their financial literacy in delivering on the commitments in its 2016-2017 Business Plan.
Through the Agency's supervision work, financial institutions reimbursed $10.5 million to 1.2 million consumer accounts to make up for inaccurate disclosure of fees or interest rate calculations, or situations in which accounts were charged incorrectly. Under its supervision mandate, the Agency also developed a new Supervision Framework, enhancing its capacity to prevent breaches of market conduct obligations. FCAC launched an industry review to identify and analyze the impact of bank sales practices on consumers and on financial consumer protection more broadly. At the request of the Minister of Finance it reviewed best practices in financial consumer protection across Canada. This work will inform new proposals to improve protection for financial consumers.
The impact of FCAC's National Strategy for Financial Literacy — Count me in, Canada was underlined in an international survey measuring the financial literacy levels of adults, where Canada ranked third out of 29 countries. The Commissioner named a new National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy whose members are leading more than 113 initiatives to improve Canadians' financial literacy and extending FCAC's capacity to communicate with consumers. In November 2016, FCAC coordinated the sixth annual Financial Literacy Month, which included 1,214 events and activities hosted by organizations across Canada. The new, 2016–18 National Research Plan for Financial Literacy will generate empirical evidence contributing to the successful ongoing implementation of the national strategy.
FCAC's total expenses for the fiscal year were $17.6 million. FCAC recovered $13.6 million in operating costs for supervision and promotion, consumer education programs and internal services from the financial entities it oversees. In addition, the Agency recovered $4 million in costs for financial literacy through Government of Canada appropriations.
In 2016-2017, FCAC:
- supervised 353 federally regulated financial entities
- had 85 full-time employees
- expanded the Canadian Financial Literacy Database to feature 1,371 resources
- published survey findings that consumers' awareness of their financial rights and responsibilities has remained stable compared to 2011 research
- published a research report, Payday Loans: Market Trends, that found consumers are often unaware of the high costs of payday loans
- hosted a National Research Symposium on Financial Literacy in Moncton, New Brunswick
- was mentioned 2,928 times in print, television, radio and online news media sites
- answered 10,177 calls and written correspondence through its Consumer Services Centre and received 4,528 direct consumer complaints
- had 15,074 Twitter followers
"As FCAC passed its fifteenth anniversary in 2016-2017, I was struck by how the pace of change in the financial sector has accelerated. I am proud of the Agency's accomplishments in safeguarding the financial well‑being of Canadians while we seized new opportunities that arose during a challenging year."
Lucie Tedesco, Commissioner, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
- 2016–2017 Annual Report
- Global financial literacy rankings: Canada in top three countries worldwide
- Financial Consumers' Rights and Responsibilities Survey – 2016
- Payday Loans: Market Trends
- 2016–18 National Research Plan for Financial Literacy
SOURCE Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, 613-941-4168, [email protected]