Canadian Bankers Association

Canadian Bankers Association

March 31, 2009 15:37 ET

Canadian Bankers Association Welcomes Legislation to Fight Identity Theft

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 31, 2009) - Canada's banking sector applauded today's announcement by the federal government that it has introduced legislation to protect Canadians against identity theft. Nancy Hughes Anthony, President and CEO of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), joined federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson as he made the announcement.

"Currently Canada is the only developed country without legislation designating identity theft as a crime," said Ms. Hughes Anthony. "With this legislation, Canada is poised to move from the back of the pack to the front, because we will have some of the most comprehensive legislation against identity theft in the industrialized world."

Identity theft, the theft of personal information, is currently not illegal but it can lead to a wide variety of crimes - from financial fraud and forgery to real estate fraud and the abuse of government programs.

"It is important that law enforcement agencies have the tools necessary to stop criminal activity at its earliest root source," said Ms. Hughes Anthony. "There is an urgent need to make identity theft a defined offence - an actual crime - in Canada and we urge all parties to join together and pass this legislation quickly."

Currently in Canada it is not illegal to possess multiple pieces of identification or to traffic in stolen personal information. The CBA has long advocated for the need to make identity theft a defined offence under the Criminal Code in Canada.

"Today it is an offence to possess burglary tools yet it is not illegal to have a fist full of driver's licences, credit card numbers and debit card PINs," explained Ms. Hughes Anthony. "Minister Nicholson's legislation represents concrete action in the fight against identity theft and we applaud and support his efforts to protect Canadians."

Banks take their role in the fight against financial fraud extremely seriously and have highly sophisticated security systems and trained experts to protect customers' information and to protect them from financial fraud. They also work closely with law enforcement on their investigations and help educate consumers about steps they can take to minimize the risk of becoming a victim.

For more information on identity theft, financial fraud and consumer protection tips, visit the CBA website at www.cba.ca/fraud.

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 50 domestic chartered banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 257,000 employees to advocate for efficient and effective public policies governing banks and to promote an understanding of the banking industry and its importance to Canadians and the Canadian economy.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Bankers Association
    Andrew Addison
    (416) 362-6093, ext. 220 or Cell: (416) 587-7733
    aaddison@cba.ca