More transparency needed in murky investment environment, says ATBIS

By The IJ Staff | May 18 2017 09:45AM

ATB Investor Services (ATBIS) says it is aiming to help make investing simpler to understand by encouraging transparency. This is needed to improve consumer confidence “in a murky Canadian investment environment,” says ATBIS.

In a statement released this week, ATBIS’ president Chris Turchansky said, "We are motivated to be a true catalyst for change in the industry…By standing up for our customers, we're leading the charge on changing the industry for the better by asking questions, listening to our customers' concerns and sharing helpful information."

Investors in the dark

In its statement, ATBIS noted that a recent edition of The Investor Beat, ATB's quarterly report on saving and investing in Alberta, “drives home that Albertans are in the dark when it comes to their investment fees in the wealth industry.”

The Beat shared results from a recent survey conducted by Ipsos that found 40 per cent of Albertans are familiar with how various savings and investment products are taxed, and of those with investment products, under half (46 per cent) are aware they pay fees on such products.

"The survey shows that Albertans are in the dark when it comes to their knowledge of investment fees," says Turchansky. "We hope that by continuing to make investing simpler and providing helpful tools, we'll see Albertans feeling more confident."

Four key questions to ask advisors

With the goal of increasing transparency, ATB’s website is advising Albertans to ask their financial advisor four key questions: What is your obligation to act in my best interest? How are you compensated? How will I be charged? What is your (and your firm’s) investment philosophy?

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