Canada’s big banks will soon have to publish their financial reports online.
A government advisory panel is recommending that banks report their revenue and profits, income and losses, and capital expenditure.
Financial Management Inc. has long advocated that banks publish the data online, and it believes the public should be able to access that information.
However, the panel is looking for more detail from all the major banks and the big three players.
Financial Managers’ report recommends that banks use data in three categories: revenue, profit and capital.
That means, for example, a bank’s revenue would have to be split between its accounts receivable and assets.
It also recommends that bank executives disclose the amount of cash in the bank’s bank account, which is a key way to identify how the bank is using its capital.
But the report says the data should be made public online so that consumers can compare it with their own financial records and get a better sense of what a bank is doing.
“The current financial information provided by banks is inadequate and not accessible to the general public,” said Financial Managers executive director David Ragan.
“The public should have the ability to obtain accurate financial information, including the information on cash balances, interest payments and capital expenditures, from financial institutions.”
The report comes as the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) prepares a report for the public.
That report is expected to provide details about the financial activities of the major Canadian banks and other financial institutions, including how much of their revenue comes from cash deposits, withdrawals and loans.
The FCA will release the report later this month.
In a statement, the bank industry group says it has been working closely with FCA to develop a plan to help Canadian banks become more transparent.
“Financial institutions should continue to use the best available information to make informed decisions and provide consumers with the best value,” said FCA president Michael Purdy.
“We look forward to working with the panel to deliver the most accurate financial data and to help Canadians better understand their financial circumstances.”For more: