guidelines and regulations binders

The latest effort to enhance financial industry conduct standards was launched Tuesday by Ontario’s Financial Services Commission (FSCO). The regulator is inviting feedback on its proposed Treating Financial Services Consumers Fairly Guideline.

The firms it regulates are already expected to treat consumers fairly, FSCO says in a news release, but it is proposing the new guideline to “ensure a common understanding about what it means to treat consumers fairly throughout a financial product’s life cycle.”

“Treating consumers fairly means putting the interests of consumers first. It means taking the time to understand their needs and ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities, so they can make the most informed financial decisions possible,” FSCO says.

The proposed new guideline would apply to the provincially regulated insurers, pension plans, credit unions, loan and trust companies and mortgage brokers and co-operative corporations that are currently under its oversight.

Written comments on the proposed guideline are due no later than May 8; FSCO expects to finalize the guideline later this year.

Work is also underway that will ultimately see FSCO merged with a couple of other provincial agencies to create the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) as a new independent regulator to oversee consumer protection in the provincial industry.