Cross Sector
Public comment closed
Comment Due Date

Thank you for providing your feedback on FSRA’s proposed Approach to Strengthening Protection of Vulnerable Consumers.

The request for submissions is now closed.

We appreciate the comments and questions received to date. Your feedback will help to inform our final methodology / approach / framework / annual review; stay up to date on our newsroom. Follow us on LinkedIn and subscribe to our mailing list for quick updates.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) wants to hear from you about its proposed approach to strengthen the protection of vulnerable consumers in its regulated sectors. This will include consulting on the definition of Vulnerable Consumers ensuring a shared understanding amongst FSRA, its regulated entities, its stakeholders and the public. Consumers are those who purchase or benefit from products and services delivered by the sectors that FSRA regulates, including pension plan beneficiaries and credit union members.

FSRA’s Proposed Approach to Strengthen the Protection of Vulnerable Consumers focuses on two goals:

  1. Promoting inclusive and fair treatment of vulnerable consumers and preventing targeted financial mistreatment.
  2. Improving consumer education, engagement, and awareness building efforts.

FSRA invites consumers, industry and other interested stakeholders to submit feedback until March 8.

Learn more:

Once the consultation concludes, FSRA will publish a consultation summary report and next steps in finalizing and implementing its proposed approach.

FSRA continues to work on behalf of all stakeholders, including consumers, to ensure financial safety, fairness, and choice for everyone.

Learn more at


Before we begin, please make sure you do not include any personal or private financial information. If your inquiry does require this information be shared with us, please call us at 1-800-668-0128 or email us at [email protected] for instructions.

By submitting your content, you agree to have your materials posted on our engagement portal, used in reports and other materials prepared by Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) that may be shared with the public. Content is moderated so that all posts are respectful and professional. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.F.31, applies to all online content.

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Sector Comment Date posted Sort ascending
[2024-002] Ken Kivenko - Kenmar Associates
Just heard about this consultation.

Our input :
Train advisors on recognition of vulnerability
Train advisors non how to work effectively with seniors/ vulnerable clients
Dramatically upgrade conduct and proficiency standard for FA designated advisors
Reconsider choice of OSC as a FA CB FA authentication authority
Use plain language in comms with vulnerable consumers
Consider naming of a Trusted Contact Person
Have robust rules on POA ,acting as executor , naming a beneficiary
Provide controls on suspicious cash transfers
Tighten up on needs analysis process and forms
Implement robust complaint handling process
Identify products unsuitable for seniors / retirees e.g. DSC Seg funds
Ensure ombudsman trained on handling complaints from vulnerable consumers
Ombudsman should have binding authority
Analyze complaint data for systemic issues / root causes ; act decisively
Ensure all forms available in readable font
Use AI as appropriate to better protect vulnerable financial consumers
Monitor advertising and marketing information ( social media) for misleading disclosures
Monitor sales practices for misleading representations
Set high level $ sanctions and bans for those exploiting vulnerable consumers
Work closely with OSC , FCAC , CIRO CARP , the Ontario Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee and financial ombudsman.(;and seniors homes/ retirement residences
Establish financial consumer protection clinics throughout Ontario , start with York U.
Enhance Legal Aid services
Provide consumer - friendly self protection material and guides ( Financial self defense guide)

See FCA guidance on fair treatment of vulnerable consumers


And Report on Best practices in financial consumer protection

Hope this is useful.

Ken Kivenko,President
Kenmar Associates
[2024-002] Zoltan Vass - Insured Homeowner
Dear Mr. Stuart Wilkinson,

I am writing this comment as a homeowner who has experienced a total loss of my home in August 2019 due to the vacant property next door having homeless people inside that started a fire, and then that property exploded into mine because there was large amounts of explosive materials such as gasoline, paint, etc. on the 2nd storey. It has been 5 years since the fire, and my house has not been rebuilt despite using a LARGE insurance company “Premier Vendor” to complete the repairs. I will attempt to tell my story here briefly as possible, whilst following the FSRA guidelines for submitting this feedback regarding treatment of vulnerable consumers.

At FSRA, we value your feedback and take the time to carefully review all comments before posting them publicly. We kindly ask that you keep in mind that there are certain types of comments that we are unable to publish.
names of individuals
names of organizations, other than the organization the commenter represents
names of companies’ products
links to external websites or social media pages profanity
Please summarize your feedback on the Consultation on FSRA’s Proposed Approach to Strengthening Protection of Vulnerable Consumers to meet the criteria listed above. The deadline for you to submit comments is March 8, 2024

I have 5 lawsuits ongoing which I must attend and give my attention to. The business that I worked with as a Logistics Manager for 5 years closed, and I am destitute now after having 6 strokes last week. I am 48 years old. My health and my house are my biggest concerns now.
Both of my big cane corso dogs have died since being displaced due to fire, and having to move a second time to lower rent cost because Insurance Contractor poured the foundation in the wrong spot on the lot - they did not follow the engineer plans stamped April 1, 2020. The contractor put liens on my house the minute they were done working on it. The insurance company wouldn’t pay the contractor directly despite delays which they say were covid-related.

The insurance company paid my bank and my public adjuster that I just hired; and the bank closed my mortgage taking all future interest owed - and the public adjuster took 30% of my insurance settlement despite our contract for 10% of RCV only. I made a formal complaint to the regulator and they did absolutely nothing to the public adjuster or the insurance company. Not a word about it on the website to warn other consumers. Not a Notice of Proposal. They did nothing, which speaks volumes in terms of what they do to regulate these giant corporations.

My insurance company has filed lawsuits against the public adjuster, to subrogate costs, and also against their “Premier Vendor” general contractor (a monster company that is American), and I have a lawsuit against my insurance company and also against the public adjuster, and the contractor had a lawsuit against ME when they wouldn’t even give me an invoice to pay which states what work has been done (1pg draw invoice just said 30% of estimate). Also, I had to get a construction loan to keep going with construction - because bank wouldn’t do construction loan when work was already under way - and I defaulted on those huge payments.
I also was sued by the lawyer the public adjuster referred me to. I have a formal complaint with the LSO and awaiting their reply related to that. So - that’s 7 lawsuits I have been involved in. The regulator has done nothing to assist me in the matter despite my written complaints to you.

My line of credit is closed and sent to collections, my 3 credit cards are the same, my vehicle will likely be repossessed soon. My dad died, and I couldn’t afford flights to attend funeral. My dogs died and I couldn’t afford cremation. I was facing eviction, and insurance company paid just enough to pay the year rent overdue after I have been under heavy stress for the year. I’ll likely be evicted before my house is rebuilt.

I bought the house 1 year before the fire happened, and I was working A LOT, and paid for the repairs required by Underwriting, along with several renovations that I wanted to do. Then the house burnt down August 2019, and I continued to pay my insurance premiums, mortgage, and rent (which was double my mortgage). I am not “rich” - my house was VERY modest - and it was my first house I ever owned. The insurance company took advantage of me in terms of my financial position (not wealthy, worked very hard for any little things I might have to my name). The broker assisted the insurance company in taking advantage of me (ByLaw endorsements not offered). The bank took advantage of me. The contractor took advantage of me. The public adjuster and their referral lawyer took advantage of me.

I want to warn other people who may be immigrants to this great country that is Canada, who may not speak English as their 1st language (it is the 5th language I have learned in my life), to homeowners who own modest homes and don’t know about ALL THESE THINGS YOU NEED TO ASK FOR from brokers and insurance companies in order to get good honest coverage for your valuable asset! If I was offered ByLaw coverage I would have bought it. I have my application for insurance and there is NO sign-off that I didn’t want that. What they sold me was a “Comprehensive Homeowner policy with GUARANTEED REPLACEMENT COST and a single limit of coverage”.

The insurance company scope of work was not honest - did not include what I had in my house prior to the loss - and they give you 2 days (while I was working full time +) to review and return. I had no idea really what I was doing looking at those building plans. I am not a builder. After a year and a half of them not even starting to build my house I hired a public adjuster because I was wondering, “is this normal??”. The public adjuster was a builder before and explained to me how the insurance company and their preferred contractor work in collusion to cut costs. Its true.

Nobody should ever be treated like this in their time of need by these megalithic corporations. Capitalism is known for producing great results at the cost of the many - and usually the poor. That is what is happening in the FSRA regulated sectors, so I really think the FSRA needs to step up their game and provincial and federal government need to provide resources to them, rather than investing their money into the corporations to get better ROI. Something needs to be done to stop the financial sector from going to hell in a handbasket. Because from a homeowners perspective that is not extremely well-off, that is exactly what it feels like has already happened unfortunately.

Zoltan Vass
[2024-002] Kathi Jones - Homeowner & Recipient of Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians
Dear Mr. Stuart Wilkinson,
I hope that you are able to receive and review my attached feedback and that it is allowed to be public within this forum.
Thank you for looking into this issue regarding ""Vulnerable Consumers"" across the sectors that you regulate. I believe it is of grave importance to enforce strict guidelines upon the large insurance companies in particular so that they do not continue to mistreat consumers who are at a disadvantage. So, thank you.
Kathi Jones
[2024-002] Rhona DesRoches - FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform
FAIR response to: ID 2024-002 FSRA Proposed Approach to Strengthening Protection of Vulnerable Consumers

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Proposed Approach to Strengthening Protection of Vulnerable Consumers.

FAIR is a grassroots not-for-profit organization of MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident) survivors who have been injured in motor vehicle collisions and who have struggled with the current auto insurance system in Ontario.

“A vulnerable consumer is someone who is at higher risk of experiencing financial mistreatment, hardship, or harm, due to various factors and personal circumstances.”

The accompanying explanation to the definition on the FSRA consultation page does aptly describe the uneven power dynamic between purveyors of financial products and consumers. It could be said that every auto insurance claimant is a vulnerable consumer who is at-risk in their relationship with their auto insurer. We are mandated to buy a product we don’t understand. It’s too complicated and that just gets worse when a consumer uses it after a car crash injury.

Appendix 1 and the findings on vulnerability from FSRA research reveals that very few people complain to FSRA when compared to their estimated level of vulnerability when it comes to auto insurance issues.

This exposes and underlines the need for FSRA to be proactive to systemic problems in auto insurance and the other financial products rather than wait for consumers to come to them. It may be that the most deeply affected by poor treatment are those who are most vulnerable and who are least likely to be able to navigate the complaints process.

A Complaints Analysis to help identify risks of consumer harm for vulnerable groups should be followed by a pathway of mitigation and prevention. This is closely tied to dis-incentives such as Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) and though the presiding model of oversight is principles based and not punitive, the Regulator must not just instruct the financial entities who engage in taking advantage of consumers and apply the UDAP Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) accordingly; the Regulator must also be seen as doing so in order to protect the public interest.

In fairness, the expectations of the Regulator must be known to the businesses and entities under regulation because to monitor outcomes through trends and complaints analysis is after the harm is already done. So while analysis might provide a template for the future it also needs to provide the background for the information consumers need in real-time to make competent decisions. There is a lot of information on the FSRA website to assist consumers and while public campaigns and outreach can improve consumer knowledge there is still the question of how best to point consumers in the direction to access the information.

The FSRA information brochures placed in Ontario’s Credit Unions has increased public awareness and that type of ‘on the ground’ direction to consumers might be the best option overall and across the sectors. All transactions should include FSRA’s own approved and consistent information which is unlike individual entities informing their customers with their chosen language. This will provide a tool for education and enable consumers to access FSRA’s website for more information. FSRA’s role and contact should be on every document clearly indicating regulatory oversight and brochures should be included in transactions. Knowledge is Power to the consumer.

Promoting inclusive and fair treatment of vulnerable consumers could prevent some targeted financial mistreatment but FSRA should also look at how vulnerabilities are fostered and how they can be mitigated by acknowledging the causes.

Financial literacy cannot be attained when the language used by financial services AND the Regulator, in this case FSRA, continually change the terms to describe the services and the oversight. Why say ‘policy servicing’ when the common term is ‘claims handling’? Why say ‘intermediaries’ which is defined as “person who negotiates” instead of ‘agents, associates and contractors’? One of the current financial services being looked at is the MGA. Consumers generally have no idea what that is. Using the full terminology of Managing General Agent still provides little clue of what the MGA is. All of this serves to confuse consumers who cannot see how this fits into their experience. If this is explained as insurer partner agents that sell anything from life insurance to funeral insurance, disability coverage to travel insurance it becomes relatable and it removes some of the uneven power and knowledge dynamic by way of informing a consumer in language they understand.

The task of administering focused campaigns to educate vulnerable consumers starts at a grass roots level. To inform consumers of their rights and protections, plain language must be used (and be defined) in order to enable stronger communication practices across all the sectors but especially in relation to auto insurance regulations. FSRA must be vigilant in their communications with consumers as there is a constantly changing legal and legislative landscape. Changes to coverage, band-aid solutions and increased choices all lead to less coverage for consumers and confusion about what they are and are not covered for.

In financial transactions the business entity always has an upper hand – they know the business and the products they are promoting. Auto insurance consumers are often operating with too little information and a lack of understanding. FSRA has identified at-risk consumers so the next step is to create a path to prevent that vulnerability and that will build trust and confidence while protecting the rights and interests of financial consumers going forward. One of FSRA’s first steps would be to look at the language the Regulator uses, is it readable, is it understandable and is it accessible.

FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform
[2024-002] Catherine Allman - Canadian Association of Direct Relationship Insurers
Please find attached CADRI's response to FSRA's Proposed Approach to ... Vulnerable Consumers.
[2024-002] Giuseppina A. Marra - Desjardins Group
Veuillez trouver ci-joints les commentaires officiels du Mouvement Desjardins en lien avec la présente consultation sur le renforcement de la protection des consommateurs vulnérables.
[2024-002] Nancy Allan - Independent Financial Brokers of Canada
Attached is the response from Independent Financial Brokers of Canada (IFB) to the consultation on strengthening protection for vulnerable consumers. Thank you.
[2024-002] Luke O'Connor - CLHIA

[2024-002] Jean-Paul Bureaud - FAIR Canada
Attached is a comment letter submitted on behalf of FAIR Canada.
[2024-002] Amanda Dean - Insurance Bureau of Canada
Please see the attached submission for your consideration.
[2024-002] Matt Caron - Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA)
Please find OTLA's submission attached.
[2024-002] David Gordon - CAAT Pension Plan

[2024-002] Tyler Jensen - Ontario Bar Association

[2024-002] Ryan Stein - Definity Insurance
Good afternoon,
Here is Definity's submission for the consultation on a proposed approach to strengthening protection of vulnerable consumers.
Thanks for the opportunity to participate. Ryan
[2024-002] The Osgoode Hall Law School Investor Protection Clinic - The Osgoode Hall Law School Investor Protection Clinic
Please see attached comment letter.
[2024-002] Mauro Lagana - Canadian Bankers Association

[2024-002] Samantha Quinn - Homeowner
Aviva Canada has VENDOR GUIDELINES which clearly outlines how RICH people get better "white glove" service than Vulnerable Consumers of lower financial status. Aviva is regularly participating in prejudicing financially less well-off consumers of insurance products through their standardized procedures. But Aviva Canada will outright deny that they are participating in such behaviour.
[2024-002] ACE

[2024-002] Ric Marrero - ACPM

[2024-002] Rob Dobbins - CAFII

[2024-002] Brett Boadway - Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario

Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires
[2024-002] Brent Furtney - Canadian Credit Union Association

[2024-002] Karin Ots - Aviva Canada Inc

[2024-002] Robin Ford
Thanks for the opportunity to comment. I think the UK Financial Conduct Authority has it about right - and The FCA guidance (and FSRA proposal) relies on indicia of vulnerability. It is crucial to avoid stigmatizing specific groups such as "seniors" (however that is defined) or the "disabled" (ditto) by describing the group as a whole as "vulnerable". That is obviously discriminatory; some might say offensive. See also this video "Stop Stereotyping Seniors" with Rudy Buttignol, President of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons or CARP - It appears that FSRA is on track to avoid stereotyping (and to follow in the footsteps of the FCA). Please do not waiver! I add only that without effective enforcement, this guidance will fail and related expectations will be dashed. If the FSRA is serious about this, enforcement should be added to the list of activities in the proposed guidance.
Auto Insurance
[2024-002] Dave Gaylor - Acquired Brain Injury Survivor Solutions (ABISS)

ABISS (Acquired Brain Injury Survivor Solutions) is comprised of a group of people who have experienced the many challenges associated with surviving a brain injury as a result of a trauma. We look to find ways to positively adjust to drastically changed lives while at the same time coping with misunderstanding and at times disregard for how much its affects were felt in the lives of not only ourselves but our families as well.
Please see for more information and specific examples of problems with the automobile insurance sector.
We would suggest the following groups representing vulnerable consumers that FSRA should directly engage with:
Ontario Brain Injury Association
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

Health Service Providers
[2024-002] Kerri Olds-Rhinds - Kore PMT
Good Afternoon FSRAO,
I applaud your approach to highlight, include and make accommodations for vulnerable consumers. My suggestion would be to implement the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). Many of these standards can be applied to vulnerable consumers. I would also recommend a vulnerable consumer department and/or task force who are trained to help vulnerable consumers and that adjusters dealing with vulnerable persons receive in-person or virtual training to best serve this group. Having worked with patients/clients in this category, we find we require additional patience, understanding and resources to help them navigate insurance requirements and procedures. Often they have difficulty reading and understanding documents that are sent to them, or they did not understand the conversation they had with their insurance adjuster. We are happy to work with insurers and do our best to strengthen the relationships they have with our patients to ensure they meet these requirements and procedures. Thank you for looking at how to improve this relationship!
Date posted Sector Question and response
Life and Health Insurance

Question: Does the March 4, 2024, Virtual seminar provides CE credits as well?

FSRA response:

Thank you for submitting your question on the webinar for Consultation on FSRA’s Proposed Approach to Strengthening Protection of Vulnerable Consumers. Here is the link to register if you have not done so yet. To clarify, the webinar is on Thursday, February 8th from 12 to 12:30 p.m. EST. The webinar will share information about FSRA’s proposed approach to strengthen protection of vulnerable consumers and provide and opportunity to ask questions of FSRA’s Chief Consumer Officer, Stuart Wilkinson.  The webinar does not provide continuing education (CE) credits.