New report, Regulatory Scan Working Draft, from CFD team member Dr. Gail Henderson, Kevin Akrong, and Diane Wu, scans Canadian federal and provincial regulations that contribute to or constrain financial empowerment.
There are many financial products and services aimed at moderate- and low-income Canadians – payday loans, prepaid credit cards, instalment loans, tax rebate discounters – with distinct regulations applying to each, regulations which are enforced by different agencies operating at different levels of government. This can make navigating the financial marketplace difficult for any financial consumer. This report is an ongoing attempt to summarize the regulators and regulations relevant to the financial lives of low-income Canadians. These are mainly concerned with protecting consumers from the worst predatory practices, but also include trying to improve low-income Canadians’ access to low-cost financial goods and services. The report also briefly describes the regulatory structure in other jurisdictions and explores possible solutions for improving the financial lives of low-income households.