May 16, 2006 by Canadian Underwriter
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has reaffirmed his personal commitment to the Conservative Party’s platform to “maintain the current regulations governing insurance marketing by the chartered banks.”
Currently the Bank Act does not allow banks to retail insurance products or distribute insurance information within their local branches.
Flaherty noted as well, however, that the standing committee on finance, made up of Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Bloc MPs, will study the submissions on either side of the debate.
He made the comments during a scheduled press conference following his recent speech to the Mississauga Board of Trade.
“There is a commitment to maintain the current marketing regulations in the platform of our party, and we keep our commitments,” Flaherty is quoted as saying in the Toronto Star. “But inevitably, it is going to be an issue that is reviewed by the relevant parliamentary committees and I look forward to that discussion.”
The fact that the mandatory Bank Act review will be subject to Parliamentary review means brokers still need to lobby hard to prevent changes to the act, brokers told the Independent Brokers Association of B.C.’s recent convention in Vancouver.
Brokers at the conference noted high-profile politicians such as former Liberal Party leader Paul Martin told them privately that brokers stood a good chance of maintaining the status quo because of the brokers’ strong local lobby. But this is different, as brokers at the conference observed, than politicians viewing the independent broker distribution channel as having some kind of instrinsic value worth preserving.