ARCHIVED — Vol. 147, No. 6 — March 13, 2013

Registration

SI/2013-22 March 13, 2013

FINANCIAL SYSTEM REVIEW ACT

Order Fixing the Day on which this Order is registered as the Day on which Section 46 of the Act Comes into Force

P.C. 2013-170 February 28, 2013

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, pursuant to subsection 225(1) of the Financial System Review Act, chapter 5 of the Statutes of Canada, 2012, fixes the day on which this Order is registered as the day on which section 46 of that Act comes into force.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Proposal

To fix the date of registration of this Order as the date on which section 46 of the Financial System Review Act, chapter 5 of the Statutes of Canada, 2012, comes into force.

Objective

To provide consistent treatment among bank customers and non-customers in cashing Government of Canada cheques.

Background

Canada’s sound financial system is a model for countries around the world, and for the fourth year in a row, Canada has been ranked as having the soundest banks in the world by the World Economic Forum.

The four principal Acts that govern financial sector regulation (the Bank Act, the Cooperative Credit Associations Act,the Insurance Companies Act, and the Trust and Loan Companies Act) are subject to a five-year review cycle. The most recent review was completed in 2012 and culminated in the Financial System Review Act, which introduced technical amendments to the abovementioned acts to ensure that Canada’s financial system continues to be secure for Canadians and a fundamental strength for our economy.

The Financial System Review Act includes measures to

  • update financial institution legislation, to promote financial stability and ensure that Canada’s financial institutions continue to operate in a competitive, efficient and stable environment;
  • fine-tune the consumer protection framework; and
  • improve efficiency by reducing the administrative burden on financial institutions and adding regulatory flexibility.

One consumer protection element was not brought into force with the rest of the Financial System Review Act. Section 46 amends the Bank Act to clarify that bank customers have the same privileges as non-customers when cashing Government of Canada cheques — that is, all individuals have a right to cash Government of Canada cheques under $1,500 free of charge, at any bank in Canada. This provision had been delayed until technical amendments to the associated Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations (the Regulations) were made. The technical amendments to the Regulations are now complete.

Implications

In practice, the coming into force of section 46 ensures that banks continue to provide consistent treatment among bank customers and non-customers when cashing Government of Canada cheques.

Consultation

The five-year review was launched on September 20, 2010. The Minister of Finance invited the views of all Canadians on how to improve our financial system, in an open consultation process. Approximately 30 submissions were received from a range of stakeholders.

The Financial System Review Act takes into account the concerns of the major interest groups, including consumer groups, stakeholder and policyholder groups, and financial sector industry associations.

Contact

Jane Pearse
Director
Financial Institutions Division
Department of Finance
L’Esplanade Laurier, East Tower, 15th Floor
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G5
Telephone: 613-992-1631
Fax: 613-943-1334
Email: finlegis@fin.gc.ca