FSRA Consumer Advisory Panel (Panel) meeting with the Board of Directors

Summary of the meeting of May 3, 2023
25 Sheppard Avenue West

Consumer Advisory Panel members present:

Laura Tamblyn Watts, Chair 
Harvey Naglie, Vice-Chair 
Sharon Altman-Leamen 
Lucy Becker 
Kristina Booi 
Rhona DesRoches 
Zahir Dharsee 
Harold Geller 
Krysta Nesbitt 
Chris M Robinson 
Udia Umoette 
Todd White

Board members present:

Joanne De Laurentiis – Chair of the Board
Kathy Bouey - Director
Joseph Iannicelli - Director
Dexter John – Director
Larry Ritchie – Director
Brent Zorgdrager – Director

Management members present:

Mark White – Chief Executive Officer
Glen Padassery – Executive Vice President, Policy 
Judy Pfeifer – Chief Public Affairs Officer
Stuart Wilkinson – Chief Consumer Officer
Diana Green – Senior Policy Analyst
Heather Greenberg – Corporate Secretary and Deputy General Counsel

General comments:

The Chair of the Board welcomed the Panel to the meeting.  The Consumer Advisory Panel (the Panel) reported on its activities in the 2022 term. The Panel proposed initiatives to empower consumers through relevant financial education, providing examples from four specific sectors. 

The Panel Chair highlighted the Panel’s activities in the past year.  

The Panel has defined its role as one that provides an empowerment and knowledge lens on the regulated industries of FSRA. It aims to present these views and offer pathways for engagement and action to address identified needs. In its view consumer empowerment is built through three main components:  

  • knowledge through education  
  • awareness of the regulator and options  
  • relevance of information available at time of need  

Empowering consumers through knowledge 

Financial awareness in pension sector  

The Panel provided examples of crisis points for vulnerable consumers such as pensioners which can be navigated with relevant information and awareness of the regulator. The Panel commended FSRA for developing the Pensions Bankruptcy Guide, indicating FSRA should promote the guide in different avenues, and develop similar informative products. 

Financial awareness in insurance sector

The Panel raised the need for relevant education for informed decision making, empowering people to make better decisions related to insurance. Potential improvements to FSRA’s Auto Insurance website page and suggestion to distribute consumer information around peak insurance purchase and renewal periods were presented by the Panel. The Panel expressed its concerns on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by consumers for financial advice, financial information, and financial education, and the risks of consumers receiving outdated and irrelevant information.  

Financial awareness in Financial Planner and Financial Advisor sector

The Panel provided high level overview on the legislation and its content. In its view the legislation is lacking in consumer protection. Investing resources to enhance consumer education regarding services of, and differences between Financial Planners and Financial Advisors, will help protect consumers.  

Financial awareness in mortgage broker sector 

The Panel commended FSRA for the educational campaigns and web content related to new licensing requirements for mortgage brokers. The Panel suggested including detailed information on the new requirements in educational materials and require brokers to pass on to consumers educational information FSRA distributes to reach a bigger consumer audience.

The Panel Chair provided a walk-through the Panels engagement model and plan for the 2023-24 term. 

The Chair thanked the Panel for their insight and for their thoughtful presentation.