Supreme Court of Canada hears arguments in landmark insurance jurisdiction case
April 11, 2006, Ottawa, ON – Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, continued to fight for financial advisors and consumers in its oral arguments before the Supreme Court of Canada today. The Association argued for uniform standards of professional conduct among all who market insurance products in the landmark case deciding whether federally chartered banks must abide by provincial legislation for the sale of some types of insurance, including credit and mortgage insurance, in Alberta.
�We are pursuing a level playing field for financial advisors and an environment that places the consumers� interest first,� said Advocis chair Gary McLeod, CLU. �It�s only fair that all who sell insurance products should abide by the same rules.�
The banks argue that the province does not have jurisdiction to regulate banks in this area as they are regulated federally under the Bank Act.
�There should not be a two-tier insurance regime where there is one standard for bank employees and a different one for everyone else,� noted McLeod. �In this particular case the banks do not believe they should abide by Alberta�s insurance regulation that was largely designed to protect consumers.�
In 1991, the Bank Act was amended to allow banks to establish insurance, securities and trust company subsidiaries. All three of these areas are provincially regulated. If the Court rules that the banks are immune from the application of provincial regulation for the insurance industry it would follow that the same would hold true for the trust and securities industries.
�This case can have far-reaching implications for all financial advisors and the entire financial sector in Canada and many are not even aware of this case,� continued McLeod. �Advocis is the voice of Canada�s financial advisors and consumers in this case, and we are representing the interests of an important part of the Canadian financial sector.�
Advocis, The Financial Advisor Association of Canada, is the largest voluntary professional membership association of financial advisors. With more than 15,000 advisors in 50 chapters across Canada, Advocis members provide financial and product advice to over 12 million Canadians across a variety of distinct areas, including: estate and retirement planning, wealth management, risk management, and tax planning. Members adhere to a strict Code of Professional Conduct, subscribe to standards of best practices, meet ongoing continuing education requirements, maintain appropriate levels of professional liability insurance and are committed to putting their client interests first. The Association�s Web site is www.advocis.ca.