Union des consommateurs
Consumers are being offered an ever-growing number of financial products, and apparently they continue to have little or no information on how best to utilize them.
The various types of information brochures provided by financial institutions, government organizations or community groups are thus an invaluable resource for informally acquiring financial knowledge. This is often the first source of information for consumers, in many cases at the very moment when they need a financial product. The quality and accessibility of those documents is therefore important in informing consumers of their rights and obligations, and in enabling consumers to take advantage of market opportunities.
Union des consommateurs wanted to focus on the quality and accessibility of financial information addressed to the young and the elderly two consumer categories generally recognized as being more vulnerable.
Union des consommateurs selected and analysed 16 documents about personal finances or financial products and services. To evaluate those brochures, guides and leaflets produced by financial institutions, government organizations and community groups and issued to the public, they submitted them to three distinct analytical methods: computer-assisted readability analyses, expert readings and discussion groups.
Governments can work to improve the level of financial literacy by fostering an increase in the information offered; they can also encourage healthy competition by asking their regulatory bodies as well as community organizations to produce documents that provide information complementing that of financial institutions.
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OCA Funded ResearchThis research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.
Union des consommateurs
7000 Parc Ave, Suite 201
Montreal, QC H3N 1X1
Source: Consumer Policy Research Database