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Ontario Credit Unions Prohibited From Promoting Individual Life Online

By Andrew Rickard | October 05 2015 01:32PM

Ontario has introduced regulations that prohibit credit unions and caisses populaires from directly or indirectly promoting auto, home, and individual life insurance on their web sites.

In Ontario, credit unions and caisses populaires are not allowed to sell or promote insurance in their branches unless it is related to their core business. Acceptable, related types of coverage include products such as creditor, mortgage, travel, and group life insurance.

In amendments filed on Sept. 18, 2015, the provincial government added new provisions to Regulation 237/09 under the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act that specifically forbid credit unions and caisses populaires incorporated in Ontario from directly or indirectly promoting non-authorized types of insurance (such as auto, home and individual life insurance) on their web sites. This prohibition includes linking to any insurer, agent, or broker that deals in unauthorized types of insurance coverage.

"The change will ensure greater consistency between the promotion of insurance products permitted online and the promotion permitted in branches," reads a notice posted to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) web site last week. "The changes will also align Ontario’s provisions with those in effect under the federal regime for banks."

FSCO says it will begin enforcing the new rules on Jan. 1, 2016 and warns the province's credit unions and caisses populaires that they may need to alter their online practices, web sites, and promotional materials in order to comply with the new rules.

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