The Canadian government will prevent the country’s banks from selling financial products that function like life-insurer annuities, products that pay out predetermined returns regardless of market fluctuations. Under current laws, only insurers can offer annuities, but there is some wiggle room, which has allowed banks to introduce products that perform the same or similar functions as life annuities. The problem is that these banks are not subject to the same regulation as insurers. In a statement late on Friday, the finance ministry said it was making the move to clearly delineate the line between banking and insurance activities.
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