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1.4 Financial Intermediaries Other Than Investment Dealers

Explore the roles and functions of various financial institutions in Canada including chartered banks, credit unions, trust companies, and insurance firms.


Distinguishing Among the Financial Institutions

In previous sections, we have covered the role of investment dealers as financial intermediaries. This section broadens the scope to various other financial intermediaries in the Canadian financial market. These include:

  • Chartered Banks
  • Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires
  • Trust Companies
  • Insurance Companies

Each of these institutions serves different functions, has distinct operations, and caters to varying financial needs and segments of the population.

1. Chartered Banks

Chartered banks in Canada are authorized under the Bank Act to perform a wide array of financial services. They accept deposits, provide loans, create east of payments, offer investment products, and give financial advice.

Key Functions

  • Deposits and Loans: Accepting deposits and providing personal, commercial, and industrial loans.
  • Payment Services: Issuing credit and debit cards, offering online banking services, and electronic funds transfers.
  • Wealth Management: Offering investment products such as mutual funds and GICs.
    graph LR
	A[Big Five Banks] -->|Market share| B>92%]
	B --> C[Others] -->|Market share| D[8%]

2. Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires

These are member-owned financial cooperatives offering similar products to banks, such as savings and checking accounts, loans, and mortgages. Caisses Populaires primarily serve communities in Quebec.

Unique Characteristics

  • Member-Owned: Each member has a vote in the organization’s decisions, emphasizing community and customer focus.
  • Profit Redistributed: Profits are often returned to members in the form of lower fees or better interest rates.

3. Trust Companies

Trust companies manage assets for individuals and institutions. They handle administrative and fiduciary tasks such as managing trusts, estate planning, and custodial services.

Key Functions

  • Estate Planning: Assisting in the creation and management of trusts and wills.
  • Asset Management: Managing pensions, endowments, and investment portfolios for clients.

4. Insurance Companies

These companies provide risk management in the form of insurance contracts or policies. They offer life, health, property, and casualty insurance.

Product Range

  • Life Insurance: Policies protecting beneficiaries from financial loss due to death.
  • Property and Casualty Insurance: Protects assets like homes and cars from loss or damage.
  • Health Insurance: Covers medical expenses and healthcare bills.
    graph TD
	A[Consumer pays premium] --> B[Insurance Pool]
	B --> C[Claims Processed]
	C --> D[Funds Disbursed to claimants]

Key Takeaways

  • Financial intermediaries serve to bridge gaps between savers and borrowers, maintaining the flow and efficiency of the financial system.
  • Each type of financial institution operates within specific rules and serves unique needs within the market.
  • Understanding their roles and operations is crucial for stakeholders involved in financial planning and investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the primary role of chartered banks?

Chartered banks accept deposits, provide loans, facilitate transactions, and offer a range of financial products and services to individuals and businesses.

How do credit unions differ from chartered banks?

Credit unions are member-owned cooperative institutions that often offer better rates and lower fees due to their non-profit nature, unlike profit-driven chartered banks.

What services do trust companies provide?

Trust companies specialize in estate planning, trust management, and acting as custodians or trustees for assets.

What types of insurance do insurance companies offer?

Insurance companies offer various types of insurance such as life, health, property, and casualty insurance to manage risks and provide financial protection.


Chartered Banks: Banks authorized under the Bank Act to offer financial services in Canada.

Credit Unions: Member-owned financial cooperatives that offer banking services.

Trust Companies: Firms that specialize in estate planning and asset management.

Insurance Companies: Firms providing risk management in the form of insurance policies.

CSC® Exams Practice Questions

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## What role do chartered banks primarily play in the financial services industry? - [ ] Providing actuarial services - [ ] Offering investment advice exclusively - [x] Accepting deposits and providing loans - [ ] Managing mutual funds > **Explanation:** Chartered banks primarily engage in accepting deposits and providing loans, facilitating the flow of money in the economy. ## Credit unions and caisses populaires are known for which of the following characteristics? - [x] Member-owned cooperatives - [ ] Government-owned entities - [ ] Publicly traded companies - [ ] Special purpose vehicles > **Explanation:** Credit unions and caisses populaires are known for being member-owned cooperatives, which means they are owned and managed by their members. ## What unique role do trust companies play among financial intermediaries? - [ ] Syndicating loans - [x] Managing trusts, estates, and custodial arrangements - [ ] Underwriting insurance policies - [ ] Trading securities > **Explanation:** Trust companies specialize in managing trusts, estates, and providing custodial services, acting in a fiduciary capacity. ## Which of the following services is typically provided by insurance companies? - [ ] Currency exchange - [ ] Tax preparation - [x] Risk management and underwriting - [ ] Stock broking > **Explanation:** Insurance companies provide risk management and underwriting services, offering policies to protect against various types of risk. ## How do chartered banks contribute to the payment system? - [ ] Offering retirement planning services - [x] Facilitating the electronic transfer of funds - [ ] Providing investment banking services - [ ] Managing pension funds > **Explanation:** Chartered banks play a key role in the payment system by facilitating the electronic transfer of funds between accounts. ## What is a primary function of credit unions in the financial industry? - [ ] Issuing corporate bonds - [x] Providing personalized banking services to members - [ ] Managing equity portfolios - [ ] Conducting foreign exchange transactions > **Explanation:** Credit unions primarily offer personalized banking services to their members, focusing on community-based financial solutions. ## Which type of financial institution is most likely to manage pension funds? - [ ] Insurance companies - [ ] Chartered banks - [x] Trust companies - [ ] Credit unions > **Explanation:** Trust companies often manage pension funds, providing fiduciary services to ensure proper management and disbursement of pension assets. ## What is one of the main services offered by insurance companies? - [ ] Mortgage lending - [ ] Equity underwriting - [x] Providing various forms of insurance coverage - [ ] Currency trading > **Explanation:** Insurance companies offer various forms of insurance coverage, including life, health, auto, and property insurance. ## Which financial intermediaries primarily focus on serving individuals and small businesses on a community basis? - [ ] Charter banks - [ ] Trust companies - [ ] Investment dealers - [x] Credit unions and caisses populaires > **Explanation:** Credit unions and caisses populaires focus on serving individuals and small businesses within their communities. ## In addition to providing traditional banking services, what else do credit unions and caisses populaires often offer to their members? - [ ] Corporate bond trading - [ ] Risk underwriting - [x] Financial education and community support - [ ] High-frequency trading > **Explanation:** In addition to traditional banking services, credit unions and caisses populaires often provide financial education and community support to their members.

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In this section

  • 1.4.1 Chartered Banks
    Detailed guide on the chartered banks in Canada, their classifications, operations, and the regulatory framework within which they function, as set out by the Bank Act.
  • 1.4.2 Credit Unions And Caisses Populaires
    Learn about Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires, their financial services, the Cooperative Credit Associations Act (CCAA), and the investment rules they must follow.
  • 1.4.3 Trust And Loan Companies
    Explore the roles and services of trust and loan companies in Canada, their regulatory framework, and their significance in financial planning and asset management.
  • 1.4.4 Insurance Companies
    A comprehensive guide covering the structure and components of insurance companies in Canada, emphasizing life insurance, property and casualty insurance, key legislations, and the unique roles of underwriting and reinsurance.
  • 1.4.5 Other Financial Intermediaries
    Explore the various financial intermediaries that play key roles in the Canadian financial services industry, such as investment funds, ATB Financial, consumer finance companies, sales finance companies, and pension plans.
Sunday, July 21, 2024