Canadian Financial Services Industry Creates Council to Coordinate Work on Issues of Common Interest

TORONTO, Feb. 18 – Five financial services sector
associations – The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), the Canadian Life and Health
Insurance Association (CLHIA), the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the Investment
Dealers Association of Canada (IDA) and The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) –
have agreed to form the Financial Services Council of Canada to better coordinate their
efforts on legislative, regulatory and policy issues in which they have a common interest.

“The Council is an idea whose time has arrived. We
share customers and therefore we share issues,” said Joe Oliver, President and CEO of
the IDA. “Most consumers hold a range of financial services products including
investment stocks and bonds and mutual funds, bank accounts, life and health insurance and
insurance coverage for their home and car.”

“Given the increasing convergence of financial
products and of financial services providers, it is important to coordinate and integrate
our approaches to regulations and regulatory structures that are frequently
overlapping,” said Ray Protti, President and CEO of the CBA.

The Council is an informal body comprising the heads of the
member industry associations. Its primary purposes are: (i) to provide a forum to address
broad issues affecting the overall role of the financial services sector in Canada’s
economy; (ii) to coordinate work on legislative, regulatory and policy issues of common
interest; and (iii) to use industry resources more efficiently through avoiding
duplication of effort on such issues.

Tom Hockin, President and CEO of IFIC noted,
“Increasing competitive pressures have necessitated heightened efficiency among
Canada’s financial services companies. The same is true for their Associations and the
Council will contribute to those ongoing efforts.”

“We will not agree on every policy issue, nor do we
expect to,” indicated George Anderson, President and CEO of IBC. “Where we can
find common cause and understanding, and coordinate our respective efforts in a single
direction, it will benefit financial consumers and financial services providers, as well
as governments.”

The inaugural Chair of the Council for 2002 is Mark
Daniels, President of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. “The
Council is a logical next step in the growing cooperation over recent years among its
member associations” Mr. Daniels said.