April 2, 2007 by Canadian Underwriter
Its official: The 2005-07 Bank Act review has finally been laid to rest.
The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) on Apr. 2 applauded the Parliament of Canada for passing bill C-37 in late March.
As passed, the bill does not give banks the power to retail or provide information about insurance products and services through their retail branches. Banks had asked for such powers during the consultation period leading up to the passage of the bill.
We applaud the government of Canada for keeping a promise made to maintain the rules governing insurance retailing. IBAC CEO Dan Danyluk said in a press release.
In an October 2006 speech, delivered to the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontarios annual convention, Prime Minister Stephen Harper reiterated his governments election promise in 2006 that the government was going to maintain the current provisions regarding insurance retailing.
Insurance brokers across Canada would like to thank the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance [Jim Flaherty] and the government of Canada for the public policy position found in this legislative package, Danyluk said. From our perspective this is an example of promise made, promise kept.
IBAC President Larry Kozakevich commented: Consumers and all Canadians benefit from healthy competition and choice when it comes to their insurance needs, and this bill reinforces this premise. Todays industry is one that offers both, and at the end of the day, consumers are the winners.
Prior to the governments passage of bill C-37, brokers had expressed concern about the possibility of an early election toppling Harpers current minority government. That would have extended even further the Bank Act review, which has already been postponed just prior to the 2006 federal election. Passage of bill C-37 has removed any chance of that possibility from materializing.