A fiscal omnibus bill every year
During the Legault government’s previous mandate, only one omnibus bill dealing with financial issues could be implemented, Eric Girard noted at the opening of the 17th.e Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) meeting held in Montreal on November 22. He felt it was not enough.
“We have a financial and budget omnibus every year. We should also have a financial omnibus to keep the laws up to date and monitor what is happening in the industry,” said the finance minister.
“I am committed to trying to have a fiscal omnibus (bill) every year. We will take what is important to you and execute it. Changes will come from you. You are the experts,” he told the audience of industry professionals.
However, the Finance Minister admitted that the cooperation of the opposition parties is necessary, as the adoption of such a bill in the parliamentary committee may take time.
Appropriate updating of legislation to take account of technological advances in the financial products and services sector is generally desirable. In 2018, let’s recall the difficult adoption of Bill 141, which modernized the framework of the financial sector, among other things, its many amendments and the controversies regarding the integration of the Palata de la sécurité Financière (CSF) into the AIF. . Parliamentarians finally withdrew the articles of the law that allowed the AIF to “absorb” the CSF.
Asked by AIF President and CEO Louis Morisset about the possibility of a recession, the former treasurer of the National Bank preferred to talk about a “slowdown in the economy.”
“There is a 100% chance that the economy will slow down in 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 due to exceptional growth. In the first quarter of 2022, growth will be practically zero.e and 3e trimester. There could even be two negative quarters in a row,” he said.
He predicts that inflation will fall “gently” in 2023: “The prices of commodities, energy, raw materials and goods are falling. All indicators show that inflation will slow down.”
The rise in interest rates currently affecting the residential real estate sector may also affect companies with variable rate revolving financing. If necessary, the government can take steps to support them. “If inflation causes liquidity problems for businesses, we are here to help Quebecers. »
Disclosure of SAEs
The Finance Minister also highlighted the progress made following the work of the G20 Financial Group following the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
“The G20 Financial Stability Group has requested financial institutions to disclose their liquidity and capital position more transparently. Today, we can measure this information more precisely. »
This transparency has forced financial institutions to have more liquidity and capital, therefore more financial stability,” he added. He believes that the industry should apply the same level of disclosure regarding climate risks.
“I would like climate risk disclosure to bring financial institutions into the race to be more transparent. This will make it easier to get facts about the added value of a private company and its contribution to global warming, and it will encourage them to do more,” Eric Girard said.
The role of fintechs
During his years at National Bank, Eric Girard had the opportunity to observe the consolidation movement in the industry from the inside. “At that time, we believed that big people should bear social responsibility, inform and educate. The arrival of fintechs, a few small players looking to eat into the niche sectors of the big players, has changed the situation and brought new risks.
The minister noted that the challenge for the industry in the coming years is to promote competition while ensuring the promotion of financial literacy to ensure “quality information and non-negotiable ethics”.
He told an anecdote that he asked his twenty-year-old daughter how young people learn about finance. He answered that young people do not talk about money among themselves. This answer challenged the father and the Minister of Finance, who remembered that professionals are responsible for popularizing finance and economics for future generations.