The government, it seems, has turned its sights to cracking down on consumer debt.
A federal watchdog is investigating inappropriate credit card sales.
“Have you ever been approached by a salesperson in a store offering to sign you up for reward points or to provide you with a gift?” the Finanical Consumer Agency of Canada said in a statement Friday. “FCAC has received and is investigating complaints about banks that solicit or promote credit card applications and sign up customers without their express consent.”
The agency is warning consumers about the importance of knowing their rights and responsibilities when it comes to taking on debt.
“Banks must obtain your consent before issuing you a credit card. If you provide consent orally, the bank must provide you with confirmation in writing of your consent without delay,” FCAC said.
“When banks do this, they must provide you with information, such as the interest rate and the other fees associated with the card that is clear, simple and not misleading. This information must be clearly displayed in an information box.
“This information box can help you tell if a document that you’re about to sign is an application for a credit card.”
FCAC is asking Canadians who may have been subjected to misleading credit card practices to contact
The notice may be viewed as a small win by mortgage brokers, who have long argued the government should concentrate its efforts on better regulating consumer debt.
Most recently, the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association provided the Standing Committee of Finance with recommendations for regulating debt.
One of those recommendations had to do with unsecured debt.
“Recognize that housing becomes more affordable when consumers can better afford mortgage costs due to having less unsecured credit,” CMBA suggested to the government committee.
“Focus efforts to curb Canadians from overextending unsecured credit, such as credit card debt, by prohibiting collateral mortgages to be default insured.”