FCAC invited Decima to explore stakeholder and partner perceptions of FCAC. More specifically, the research was geared to help FCAC:
This research was conducted using a hybrid qualitative-quantitative methodological approach. This mixed qualitative and quantitative approach involved a series of 56 one-on-one structured interviews that had a qualitative basis but included a range of quantitative measures that could be benchmarked and tracked going forward. Participants had the opportunity to complete the interview in both official languages. In total, 53 interviews were conducted in English and 3 were conducted in French. The one-on-one interviews were conducted between February 8th and April 3rd 2007.
The questions in the survey were asked using a consistent four point scale, a rating scale of excellent (4), good (3), fair (2), and poor (1) (as well as n/a or don't know). Respondents were invited to rate FCAC on a series of measures throughout the study, and the results of those assessments are contained herein.
The two key audiences which were included in this program were:
The interview guides that were utilized for the two audiences had a series of common elements. For FCAC partners, the interview guide was geared toward consumer education issues. For FCAC stakeholders, the guide was geared toward supervision/compliance issues.
The following represents the interview breakdown :
|N=56||Banks||Trusts||Life insurance companies||Partners|
|Number of interviews||31||5||4||16|
The FCAC has a very diverse group of stakeholders. To ensure that the report is written in a relevant fashion, discussion of key findings is divided throughout the report, between stakeholders in the consumer education sphere, and stakeholders in the supervisory/compliance sphere.
A majority of respondents from both the compliance and the consumer education side felt that overall the FCAC was doing a fair-to-good job with respect to its overall supervisory model, with ratings in the range of 2.1-2.6 on a four point scale.
Consumer Education participants were more likely to give a positive rating to FCAC in this area than compliance participants, but there was lower familiarity among consumer education participants. Of this respondent group, 20% gave the supervisory model a good rating, 27% gave it a “fair” rating, and 53% did not offer an answer. In many cases, consumer education participants suggested that the model could be improved by strengthening it, by giving it more powers and "teeth".
Compliance participants were somewhat divided on their opinions of the FCAC's overall supervisory model. Overall, this group rated the FCAC's supervisory model between fair and good. The general view among the compliance respondents who know the FCAC best was that FCAC is making positive steps in its overall approach, although they felt that more progress could be achieved going forward, particularly in areas of decision-making speed, consistency in decisions, and providing more detailed rationale for decisions (those that rule for as well as against FRFIs). Of this respondent group, 8% gave the supervisory approach an excellent rating, 33% gave the supervisory model a good rating, 38% gave it a “fair” rating, and 5% gave it a poor rating.
Overall, consumer education participants indicated a general awareness of FCAC as an organization and understand FCAC's consumer protection initiatives as a whole, but did not express very much familiarity with specific FCAC programs or initiatives. Compliance participants indicated having high or higher awareness of FCAC's educational efforts.
Both consumer education and compliance participants generally assigned positive ratings to FCAC's efforts in this area, with mean scores in the range of 3.0-3.3 out of 4.
Participants from both the compliance and the consumer education segments felt that FCAC is doing a good job in providing consumers with information on FRFIs obligations towards them and highlighting their own responsibilities. Also, respondents in both segments agreed that the FCAC disseminates information in a way that is easy to understand for consumers.
Most respondents felt that the materials FCAC produces are very good and that they are definitely improving. In fact many participants from both segments mentioned that they reference the FCAC website for consumer questions. There is a view that the educational role that FCAC plays is helpful, and that the most important goal that FCAC can pursue in this sphere is disseminating the information it produces more widely to consumers.
Most of the interaction with FCAC staff was among the Compliance stakeholders, but some of the Consumer Education participants did provide comments on FCAC staff.
Compliance and Consumer Education participants both indicated that FCAC staff tended to be very responsive and friendly, and that knowledge was improving and had improved significantly over the past couple of years. Among some of the compliance participants that have had higher than average levels of contact with FCAC, there has been a sense in the past that staff knowledge in the area of compliance has been less than might be expected, but that this has improved over the past year or so, as new staff have been brought on board at FCAC.
Many, if not all, stakeholders suggest that staff capacity is improving, particularly in senior compliance roles.
To obtain more information on this study, please contact the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
This report was commissioned by FCAC