and changes still needed to protect consumers. Let’s start with Ted Menzies, the minister of state for finance, who announced “consumer friendly” rules for federally regulated banks.
The proposed changes would reduce the time banks hold onto cheques before clearing them to four business days (from seven) and give customers immediate access to the first $100 of a deposit.
Banks would also have to stop billing for products and services before getting customers’ consent. This practice, known as negative option billing, was outlawed by the Ontario government in 2005.
Not included is a promise in last year’s budget to make banks standardize the calculation and disclosure of mortgage prepayment penalties.