Reducing the Cheque Holding Period and Banning Negative Option Billing

The Access to Funds Regulations would reduce the maximum cheque hold period for consumers and small- and medium-sized enterprises. The maximum hold period is currently seven business days for all cheque amounts. This would be reduced to four business days for cheques of $1,500 or less. The regulations would also provide consumers with immediate access to the first $100 deposited by cheque.

The Negative Option Billing Regulations would require federally regulated financial institutions to obtain consumers’ express consent before providing a new optional product or service. Consumers would receive in advance a summary of key information, including related fees and costs, before granting their express consent. The regulations would also prescribe additional disclosure when a consumer agrees to an optional product or service, and require financial institutions to refund charges on a prorated basis following cancellation.

The regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette on March 12 for a 30-day comment period. Contact information for forwarding comments is provided with the proposed regulations.

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