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Financial Literacy Task Force Must Recommend New National Financial Consumer Group

Lowest cost, most effective way to educate and empower financial consumers

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

OTTAWA - Today, as the federal Task Force on Financial Literacy moves closer to finalizing its report to be released in December, the Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition (CCRC - Canada’s largest and leading bank accountability coalition) called on the Task Force to recommend, and federal Conservatives and opposition parties to establish, a new national Financial Consumer Organization (FCO) as the lowest cost, most effective way to educate and empower financial consumers across Canada.

The creation of the FCO was recommended by the federal MacKay Task Force and House and Senate committees in 1998, using an innovative method that has been successful for creating such consumer groups in the U.S.  The method would require banks and other financial institutions to facilitate the creation of consumer watchdog groups by enclosing an appeal pamphlet for the groups in their mailings to customers and individual investors -- To see details about this proposal, click here.

If only five percent of the more than 20 million financial consumers in Canada joined the FCO at a $40 membership fee each year, it would have more than one million members and an annual budget of more than $40 million dollars, all at no cost to the federal government and no cost to financial institutions (because the FCO would cover any costs of printing and enclosing the pamphlet in financial institution mailings).

"Creating the Financial Consumer Organization using the pamphlet method will solve all the financial illiteracy problems in Canada because it will educate and empower financial consumers across the country," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and Chairperson of the CCRC.  "If the Task Force fails to recommend the creation of the FCO, it will be ignoring the lowest cost, most effective way of increasing financial literacy across Canada."

The Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition (CCRC) was established in 1996 and is made up of 100 citizen groups from across Canada with a collective membership of more than three million citizens.

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For more information contact:
Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Chairperson of the CCRC
Tel: (613) 789-5753 

To see the CCRC's analysis of the flaws in Bill C-37, which changed the Bank Act and other federal financial institution laws in April 2007, click here

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Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition
P.O. Box 821, Station B, Ottawa, Canada K1P 5P9
Tel: (613) 789-5753
Fax: (613) 241-4758
Email: cancrc@web.net

Copyright 2010 Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition