February 20, 2018 07:00
Bill 141 is in the interests of the institutions before those of consumers, have denounced the three personalities from the world of financial services.
The three days of consultations on the proposed act 141 did not permit everyone to participate in the discussions. This was the case ofAlain Paquetis an economist and former minister for Finance, Bertrand Larocque, financial planner and director of the Association of professional advisers in financial services (ACPSF), and Maxime Gauthier, chief compliance officer at Mérici Services financiers, who were not invited to the consultations.
The easing of some rules, the lack of supervision and the power given to the sellers-rather than of professional concern to the three men. They have chosen to unite to make themselves heard.
They are categorical. The project of the minister Carlos J. Leitão consumers the big losers.
«The government is responding to the needs of financial institutions and insurers with the bill 141, to the detriment of certified counselors, that are attributable to the face of the real needs of consumers,» says Maxime Gauthier.
The place and time to discuss
The three men believe that there is still room and time for debate of bill 141. «What is important, it is the interest of the citizen. Not in the interest of corporate. There are elements of the bill that are not bad. The minister has the right to the split and to adopt the measures where there is consensus. But where there are arguments of substance, which have to be discussed, it is another pair of sleeves. One should have the right to discuss it, » says Mr. Gauthier.
He mentions to have received encouragement from people close to the minister to create a coalition of independent brokers who could testify to a parliamentary Committee. It helped to consolidate various general agents around a coalition. Despite this, he was still denied access to consultations.
The reduced presence of discussions feeds into the lack of transparency, according to experts. «The role of the minister is to listen and see what is best for the protection of the public and the optimum operation of the service. It is not necessary that the projects of law undermine the trust and safety of the consumer investor, » says Alain Paquet.
The former minister of Finance from 2011 to 2012 is hard to reconcile that a bill contains more than 700 articles can be the subject of a consultation of three days only. In total, 29 groups were heard. It is little according to him, considering the importance of the revision of the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services.
Listen to and view
«There is still a possibility for the minister to take a time out to listen to others requests and make further consultations. See even create an independent committee to consider the merits «, he adds.
Maxime Gauthier adds that the issue of personal finance is a subject that concerns more and more Quebecers. «The politicians are the first to say that Quebecers are not saving enough. It was a problem of financial education. Begin by having a debate on the supervision of the financial sector ! «, he said.
The abolition of the Rooms
Bertrand Larocque is concerned about the abolition of the Chambre de la sécurité financière and the Chambre de l’assurance de damage. According to the bill, the two Chambers would be integrated to thefinancial markets Authority that would be responsible for the discipline, ethics, and the training of professionals who sell financial services. «Everything is going to develop on the sly. With the Rooms, the convictions are public. With the Authority, we will not be able to use the information contained in the complaint for prosecution by the result. It’s going to stay internal. This is what the bill indicates, » says Mr. Larocque.
Maxime Gauthier is critical of the government’s rush to adopt the bill as soon as possible. It specifies that certain steps seem to have been omitted.
«If a court was required to decide between the status quo and the bill, I am sure that the minister would not meet its burden of proof. He has not presented studies. Its consultations in the upstream were very limited. He has created an omnibus which amends, repeals or creates 62 laws. This is not nothing, » he says.
The following things
The three men have not provided other specific actions, but are still open to continue their battle. «We will continue the public debate if we are asked questions, that’s for sure. The first adoption of the draft law has not yet been made, after all. The government must make a choice : is it that he wants to protect the public, yes or no ? «said Mr. Paquet.
«I have never heard the minister give us an argument articulated. We simply believe that after the bill everything will be better. What is it that you get ? «says the former politician.