It’s National Financial Literacy Month (FLM), where the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) helps equip Canadians with practical tools and tips to manage their money in a changing world. Throughout November, the FCAC is discussing the ever-changing financial marketplace and the importance of checking up on financial health.
At Magenta, our goal is to connect people with opportunities to build a better tomorrow. This month, we’re furthering our goal by supporting National Financial Literacy Month and sharing resources dedicated to helping Canadians:
- Get the pulse on their financial health
- Check up on their debt
- Prepare for and handle a financial emergency
- Optimize their financial health
For the final week of Financial Literacy Month, we’ll be discussing:
- protecting your financial rights;
- financial rights when borrowing money; and
- sharing resources to help you understand your rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial institutions.
Protecting Your Financial Rights
The best way to protect your financial rights is to understand what rights you have in the first place. Did you know that Canadian laws and regulations help ensure that financial consumers are protected, have access to basic banking services, and are treated fairly by financial institutions? These regulations include your right to:
- open a personal account at any bank with proper identification;
- cash a Government of Canada cheque for free at any bank with proper identification;
- receive clear and simple information that’s not misleading about products and services;
- get products and services for which you’ve provided express consent; and
- have your issues resolved through a bank’s complaint-handling process.
Understanding these regulations is the first step to ensuring you can protect your financial rights when dealing with your financial institution(s).
Paying Your Mortgage & Your Financial Rights As A Borrower
When it comes to paying your mortgage, banks are also expected to help consumers who are experiencing financial difficulties due to exceptional circumstances. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, it’s important that you contact your bank to learn about the relief measures that may be available to you, such as making a special payment arrangement, converting your interest rate, and mortgage deferral programs.
In November 2023, the Liberal government released the Fall Economic Statement (FES), which detailed an initiative it calls the Canadian Mortgage Charter. This charter builds upon the existing expectations related to how financial institutions treat their borrowers. To learn more, please click here: “The New Canadian Mortgage Charter Explained“.
As a Canadian borrower, you have rights when applying for a mortgage, making prepayments, renewing your mortgage, and more. Click here to explore these topics and learn more about your financial rights as a borrower.
Understanding Your Financial Rights & Responsibilities
When dealing with financial institutions, the FCAC has compiled a list of helpful resources designed to help you understand your financial rights and responsibilities. Below, please find a list of some of these resources:
- Protection for bank customers: New and enhanced protections when dealing with your financial institution.
- Knowing your banking rights: Your rights for opening a bank account, cashing cheques, account fee increases, and more.
- Knowing your mortgage rights: Your rights when applying for a mortgage, making prepayments, renewing your mortgage, and more.
- Saving and investment rights: Learn more about your rights as an investor in registered savings plans or other investment products.
Please visit the FCAC’s “Financial rights and responsibilities” page to explore more resources available to you regarding your financial rights.
Thank you for tuning in this month with Magenta as we’ve explored the weekly themes of Financial Literacy Month. To learn more about Financial Literacy Month and see additional resources provided by the FCAC, please click here.