Communities taking action against fringe financial services

March 30, 2005

In October 2003,  Dr. Jerry Buckland from Menno Simons College and a group of researchers examined the critical issue of fringe banking in North End Winnipeg. The original 229 page report was titled “The Rise of Fringe Financial Services in Winnipeg’s North End”. 

So what has happened since the reports original release?  Is this research sitting on a shelf collecting dust? Not a chance.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives- Manitoba has taken the original report and edited it down to a more accessible 46 page community friendly report.

Buckland has continued to research this issue. In the summer of 2004 with input from the Alternative Financial Services Coalition he undertook a small-sample survey of North End residents about their general perceptions of financial and insurance services in the neighbourhood. The research is expected to be completed in May. Initial indications are that North Enders right across the income spectrum are dissatisfied with the shape of bank and insurance services in the neighbourhood.

The Province of Manitoba plans to tighten controls on payday loan companies, including limiting the interest rates they can charge clients. Manitoba has asked Ottawa to let the province set and police interest rates. It also wants to ban them from confiscating the paycheques of people who stop making payments. Itis also seeking to license the industry, as other provinces such as Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia already do.

“This is an excellent example of research being put to good use” says Buckland.  Researchers and community groups are working together to identify issues and find solutions.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba, Dr. Jerry Buckland and Andrew Douglas from the Alternative Financial Services Centre will launch the revised edition of “Fringe Banking in Winnipeg’s North End.”  Join them to find out what has been happening and what the community hopes to see in the future.

DATE: Wednesday March 30th

TIME: 11:00 A.M.

PLACE: Alternative Financial Services Centre, 607 Selkirk Avenue

For further information contact the CCPA-MB at 927-3200.

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