Case Has Strengthened for Broader Access to Insurance Products: C.D. Howe Institute Study

Toronto, ON (Nov. 7, 2006) – With federal financial services legislation up for renewal in spring 2007, an outstanding question is whether a prohibition should continue on banks selling most kinds of insurance in their branches. In “Insurers and Banks: Levelling the Regulatory Playing Field,” author Mark R. Daniels examines the debate and asks: is it time to let more competition in the market?

A few years ago, the case for the prohibition was reasonable, he says. Much of it was centred on the need to create a level playing field for the providers of insurance services. Today, argues Daniels, “Broader access to a range of insurance products, supplied by an existing network of reliable, well-capitalized financial services providers is surely in the interest of consumers.” An outstanding question: who would regulate sales of insurance by banks? Amending federal legislation to incorporate provincial regulation could offer part of the answer, says Daniels.

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About C.D. Howe Institute

The C.D. Howe Institute is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to improve Canadians’ standard of living by fostering sound economic and social policy. The Institute promotes the application of independent research and analysis to major economic and social issues affecting the quality of life of Canadians in all regions of the country. It takes a global perspective by considering the impact of international factors on Canada and bringing insights from other jurisdictions to the discussion of Canadian public policy.