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August 2015 – Recently, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) presented a submission in response to a request from the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services on how to strengthen consumer financial protection for consumers of alternative financial services. These services consisted of payday loans, instalment loans, money transfers (remittances), cheque cashing, pawnbroking, and rent-to-own. Moreover, the Ministry sought commentary regarding the treatment of consumers facing debts in collections.
As part of this consultation process, the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services released a consultation paper entitled, “Strengthening Financial Consumer Protection.” The consultation paper outlined potential approaches that could be used to minimize risks to these consumers. PIAC’s submission consisted of responses to questions contained in the consultation paper, as well as consideration of financial services not raised by the Ministry.
PIAC found the Government of Ontario would be justified in adopting a wide range of measures to address the current challenges facing consumers engaged in alternative financial services. These measures consist of licensing and disclosure requirements at one end of the spectrum, to specifying product requirements and outright prohibition of certain abusive practices. PIAC also supported the use of serious enforcement measures to ensure compliance.
PIAC encourages everyday consumers, government policymakers and everyone in between to read our comments and submit your views to the relevant government agency on issues related to the provision of alternative financial services in your jurisdiction.
To read PIAC’s submission to the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, please follow the link below:
The Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services consultation paper entitled, “Strengthening Financial Consumer Protection,” can be found using this link:
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