Credit card fees – revisted

I think it is reasonable to assume that most Canadians are now aware that the Competition Tribunal tossed a complaint about the excessive fees being charged by credit card issuers (mainly our big banks) and the impact of those fees on small business and consumers. Even more interesting is the fact that the reasons for the decision to dismiss the complaint are being withheld from the public! I wonder what the Tribunal is trying to hide? Is that “independent” Tribunal really in place to protect consumers and small businesses or rather large financial institutions?

As I commented in earlier blogs, nothing in life is free – including the use of credit and the accumulation of “rewards points” or other forms of loyalty incentives. Everything has a cost, and despite what some governments and tribunals claim to the contrary, there is only one payor of these fees and that is you and I – the ultimate consumer of everything produced in our economy.

Somehow, these large institutions (that make somewhere between 5 and 7 BILLION $ per year from Canadians paying these fees) managed to convince the Tribunal that this was in the “best interest” of Canada and Canadian consumers! It must have been very creative and ultimately persuasive and maybe that is why the Tribunal doesn’t want to release all documentation to us. Good heavens, we might even be able to draw our own conclusions that we are being ripped-off and no-one is prepared to take a stand.

I am not a fan of government intervention, but the voluntary code introduced some months back by the Federal Government, hasn’t done anything and maybe the code should become law.

Ian Whiting

Ian R. Whiting CD, CFP, CLU, CH.F.C., FLMI (FS), ACS, AIAA, AALU With more than 40-years of experience in the industry, Ian has qualified 3 times for MDRT, completed LUATC in 1979, the LUAC Financial Planning Skills Course and attended numerous Schools in Agency Management and Sales Management through LIMRA. He obtained his CLU in 1987 while also completed his IFIC qualification and completed his Fellowship in the Life Management Institute with a specialty in Financial Services in 1988. In 1989, he completed qualifications for his Chartered Financial Consultant designation. In 1992, he qualified as an Associate of the Academy of Life Underwriters (Head Office underwriter qualification) and in 1993 he completed his Associate, Customer Service designation program through LOMA. In 1997, he qualified as a CFP and also completed his courses and exams to obtain the Associate, Insurance Agency Administration designation. In 1999, he completed the study and examinations to qualify as a Trading Officer, Partner and Director for Mutual Funds with the BC Securities Commission. As a result, he is also qualified as both a Branch Compliance Manager and Head Office/Provincial Compliance Officer. He served for nearly 18 years with the Canadian Forces (Air) Reserve (reaching the rank of Captain) primarily working with Air Cadets and was award the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) in 1982. Long known as a maverick and forward thinker in the financial services world, Ian enjoys the challenge of learning new material and planning for the future evolution of his chosen profession.