PIAC Media Releases

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PIAC’s Research Finds Low Consumer Awareness about Payday Loan Rights and Help Resources; Need for a Fair, Impartial, and Transparent Redress System

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019
A new research report published by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) shows that many payday loan users remain unaware of their rights, and find it difficult to calculate payday loans’ high interest rates and costs. Repeat borrowing and continuous debt-cycles continue to prevail, with many users uninformed on how to deal with debt cycles, and better manage their finances. The research indicates that the existing government resources on payday loans, i.e., provincial information websites and complaint filing processes may be underused, as many payday loan users do not know of their existence. “Payday loans are ‘expensive’ for customers because the repayment is due so soon, not just because the interest is high,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel, PIAC. “Payday loan customers make better financial choices when this obscure fact is made clear – and they can learn fast and start saving money right away,” he added.

FCAC confirms banks “mis-selling” products to consumers

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018
Two of Canada’s leading consumer groups, FAIR Canada and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), today welcomed a government report that confirmed major Canadian banks incentivize their employees to “mis-sell” unsuitable financial products to Canadians. “This report shows what PIAC has said all along,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC. “Banking consumers need a Financial Consumer Code to protect the rights of Canadian banking customers.”

FAIR Canada and PIAC Welcome Steps to Ensure Compliance with OBSI Requirements

Friday, December 8th, 2017
FAIR Canada and PIAC welcome the CSA, IIROC and MFDA taking a step in the right direction to improve compliance with the OBSI dispute resolution process for securities complaints. We are also pleased to see that the CSA, IIROC and MFDA may view refusals or low ball offers as an indication of problems with a registered firm’s complaint handling practices including their obligation to deal fairly, honestly and in good faith with clients, act within the applicable standard of care, or have implemented and maintained effective complaint handling procedures.

Proposed Ontario Payday Loan Rate Astronomically High

Friday, February 6th, 2009
Will Hurt Most Vulnerable Consumers in Economic Downturn

PIAC Releases Report on Identity Theft

Wednesday, November 5th, 2003
PIAC’s report is Canada’s first clear look at a growing menace to consumers: the theft of their personal identity. Identity theft is Canada’s fastest growing crime and a personal nightmare for thousands of Canadians. Many cases of ID theft cannot be prevented – even by the most careful consumers – due to causes outlined in the report, including:

PIAC Applauds New Financial Sector Legislation

Tuesday, June 13th, 2000
Last year, consumers organizations called on the government to implement a Consumer Charter for Financial Service Reform. “The new legislation is a good step foward in implementing the Consumer Charter,” said Angie Barrados, Researcher, Public Interest Advocacy Centre. “We are pleased to see that most of the elements of the Consumer Charter are included in the legislation.”

Consumers Benefit Through New Federal Banking Policies and Regulation

Sunday, January 30th, 2000
For years, PIAC and other public interest groups in Canada have advocated greater consumer rights and protection in the financial services sector in Canada.

Future of the Canadian Financial Services Sector

Saturday, January 30th, 1999
Overall, PIAC strongly supports the consumer-oriented recommendations of the Taskforce. While we may recommend some modest changes Taskforce's recommendations, we view the Taskforce recommendations as setting out a positive blueprint for consumers in the financial services sector. The Taskforce's recommendations on consumer matters are particularly important in light of its other recommendations such as allowing banks to sell insurance and lease cars, and allowing major mergers to proceed under certain conditions.
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