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Feds plan to address insurance promotion on bank Web sites “in the near future”: Flaherty


January 18, 2010   by Canadian Underwriter


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Bankers and insurance brokers alike can expect to see a formal government proposal “in the near future that addresses insurance promotion on bank Web sites, according to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
Flaherty raised the issue briefly in a Jan. 15 speech delivered to the Advocis conference in Toronto.
“I have also taken steps to ensure that insurance promotion on bank Web sites is subject to the same principle that applies to bank branches,” Flaherty said. “We want to ensure the Bank Act reflects the reality of online banking and at the same time ensure both continued consumer protection and fair competition. 
“We are continuing to work on this issue and in the near future the government will be coming forward with a formal proposal that supports a level playing field for the promotion of insurance products for all insurance providers.”
Currently, Canadian banks are not allowed to promote or sell insurance products within their bank branches.
Late last year, Flaherty sent letters to Canadian banks announcing his intention to adopt specific policy measures that would make bank Web sites subject to the same business regime that currently applies to branches.