The rise of financial technology
("FinTech") is revolutionizing the way
consumers and businesses make investments, raise equity, borrow
money and effect payments. The effects of FinTech are far-reaching,
and regulators are taking notice. On May 19, the Competition Bureau
(the "Bureau") announced plans to launch
a market study on technology-led innovation in the Canadian
financial services industry. (For the Bureau's notice, click here.)
The Bureau will assess how consumer and business interactions
with financial products and services are shaped by innovative
technologies such as mobile payments, online crowdfunding,
peer-to-peer banking and robo-advisors. The study will focus on the
competitive impact of new technologies and potential barriers
facing entrants in the industry with the aim of highlighting areas
for regulatory reform to promote financial innovation while
maintaining consumer protection.
The Bureau invites anyone with an interest in FinTech or
financial services to provide written or oral submissions feedback
on the following key questions:
What has been the impact of technology-led innovation on the
competitive landscape? What is happening to competition? How will
innovation impact competition in the future?
How will consumers benefit from FinTech?
What are the barriers to entry, expansion, or adoption for
FinTech companies? Are they regulatory or structural?
What is the current state of the regulatory framework for
financial services? Does it support or inhibit competition and
innovation? Are changes required to encourage greater competition
and innovation in the sector?
Are the consumer protections in place today enough to adapt for
the future? What additional protections should be put in place for
consumers? Is there a need for greater transparency in fees?
What issues should be considered when developing or amending
regulations to ensure competition is not unnecessarily
The deadline for making a written submission or indicating an
interest in making oral submissions is June 30, 2016. The Bureau
will address its findings in a report targeted for publication in
If you are interested in making a submission to the Bureau, we
would be happy to assist you. The McMillan FinTech team is
comprised of lawyers with extensive transactional and regulatory
experience in the financial services and competition law industry
and includes acclaimed technology advisors and a former finance
The foregoing provides only an overview and does not
constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any
decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal
advice should be obtained.
The Canadian Competition Bureau issued a template document for use as a form of Consent Agreement, to be filed with the Competition Tribunal to resolve concerns the Bureau may have with proposed mergers.
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