The Price of Bank Unaccountability


The Harper government may imagine itself to be "new," but its policies with regard to bank accountability are fully 30 years behind those in the U.S.A. The Conservative Party does not believe issues of bank fees, credit card interest rates, and account and bank accessibility require legislation. In fact, current bank legislation is already no match for the power and wealth that the chartered banks command.

In the past 20 years the banks have been allowed to buy up investment banks and trust companies. They close branches and increase fees with impunity, because they really do not compete with one another (as their record-breaking profits show). The effort it takes to "shop around" between banks is not worth the small improvements one might get in price or service.

Huge loopholes compromise all the regulatory measures enacted in 2001, like the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. In the U.S. - where the financial services market is far more competitive - the Community Reinvestment Act obliges banks to treat customers fairly regardless of income or location. Banking services are essential to the economic health of individuals, businesses, communities, and to the economy overall, and must be legislated accordingly.

It's too high, as the U.S. recognized 30 years ago
Conacher, Duff
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