Transcript: Treating Financial Services Conumers Fairly
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) expects the financial services providers it regulates, including mortgage brokers/brokerages, insurance agents/brokers/companies, credit unions/caisses populaires and loan and trust companies, to treat consumers fairly. Consumers also have a responsibility to ensure that they know how to safeguard their financial future.
Fair treatment of consumers is contained, directly or indirectly, in existing legislation or is part of accepted industry best practices. FSCO uses this metric as part of monitoring and oversight activities.
What does fair treatment mean?
When you work with a financial services provider, you have the right to expect that:
- you are dealing with a licensed or registered financial services provider. To find:
- financial services providers act with due care, skill and diligence at all times when dealing with you, taking into account the financial product involved, and your disclosed personal circumstances and financial needs. They should also identify any risks that a product or coverage may pose.
- financial products are presented in a way that is clear, fair and not misleading or false. You can expect to receive information about a product or service that is easy to understand, explains risks, exclusions or limitations of the product, and prominently displays any important information.
- financial products recommended to you are suitable to your personal circumstances and your financial needs.
- you are told about any conflicts of interest your financial services provider may have, including any relationships they have that may affect their ability to give you independent advice, or if they are accepting commission or other incentives for selling you a financial product.
- you can ask for advice when needed, regardless of how you purchase a financial product.
- you are given a copy of your application form and contract for your own records.
- your information is protected from any privacy breaches.
- there is a complaints process if you experience problems. Visit the following regulated sectors for more information about the complaint process:
What responsibilities do you have as a financial services consumer?
Your responsibilities include:
- checking and verifying all of the information you provide on your application form thoroughly before signing it. Withholding or misrepresenting information could make your policy/contract null and void.
- reviewing and understanding what your policy/contract includes, excludes and what it entails, and asking questions if you do not understand.
- knowing any obligations you are committed to through your policy/contract, and asking questions if you do not understand.
- paying your premiums/fees/payments on time as outlined in your policy/contract.
- reviewing your financial needs regularly and providing updates to your financial services provider.
- updating your financial services provider with any changes in your life, such as marital status and address.
We encourage you to ask your financial services provider questions that will help you make the right decisions for you. For a list of questions to ask, visit: