Canada: Regulatory Round-Up - March 2016

Last Updated: April 27 2016
Article by Greg Standing

The regulatory experts at Gowling WLG provide their monthly bite size overviews of the major legal and regulatory developments and news for the consumer, asset and automotive finance sectors.

Delay to securitisation framework

The draft new securitisation framework has been delayed as MEPs are not going to finalise their consideration of the proposal until the end of 2016 due to political considerations. This is despite the general approach having been agreed by the Commission and the Council of Ministers on 30 November 2015.

Government consults on T&Cs and measures for non-compliance

A Call for Input has been published by the Government seeking views on how terms and conditions (T&Cs) can be made more user-friendly and a proposal to introduce fines for unfair terms. The Call for Input incorporates both a request for feedback on specific proposals as well as more general questions for consumers on how they feel that T&Cs might work better for them.

The consultation will last until 25 April 2016.

Bankruptcy applications now online

As of 6 April 2016, individuals applying for bankruptcy will now do so online via the central Government website.  For the first time bankruptcy fees will also be able to be paid for in instalments. The Insolvency Service claims that the online bankruptcy application process has been developed using research with people experiencing problems with personal debt to ensure that it is simple and easy to use.

FCA feedback on General Insurance value measures

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has produced a feedback statement on general insurance add-ons, outlining its next steps, following on from the general insurance add-ons market study which was published in July 2014 and the discussion paper published in June 2015.

In the feedback statement the FCA sets out that it is to take forward the scorecard as their preferred option for presenting measures of value. The scorecard will include claims frequencies, claims acceptance rates and average claims pay-outs, potentially with the inclusion of an average premium metric.

European Commissions examines impact of credit data and responsible lending

The European Commission's Financial Services User Group (FSUG) has produced a paper assessing the impact of credit data in preventing over-indebtedness assessing the impact of credit data in preventing over-indebtedness. The paper assesses whether credit registers and the extensive use of credit data fulfils three essential policy objectives.

New register of beneficial ownership comes into effect

The statutory instruments containing the requirements for a new public register listing the beneficial ownership of companies and LLPs came into force on 6 April 2016.  Companies will be required to maintain their own register, and will have to provide an initial statement of beneficial ownership on incorporation.  They will then be required to confirm that the information held at Companies House is correct annually and to detail all changes that have occurred during the year.

Guidance on the requirements can be read here.

FCA and HM Treasury complete financial market review

The Financial Advice Market Review has been completed by HM Treasury and the FCA. The review intended to assess whether there was a gap in the provision of regulated financial advice to consumers.

The recommendations put forward by the report fall into three key areas: affordability, accessibility and liabilities and consumer redress.

Report of review into regulation of claims management published

An independent review led by Carol Brady into the regulation of claims management has been published. The key recommendation is that claims management firms are re-authorised under a more robust process which would hold managers of claims management companies (CMCs) to account for the conduct of their businesses and that the FCA would be the most effective option for delivering stronger protection for consumers.

PRA launches buy-to-let consultation

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has published its consultation paper which sets out the PRA's proposals regarding its expectations of minimum standards that firms should meet when underwriting buy-to-let mortgage contract.

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