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Toronto is home to North America’s second biggest financial sector; Canada’s commercial banking industry alone totals $251.9 billion as of 2021. A market this size, employing some 1.2 million people, has many associations and groups for professionals and companies to join. Let’s look at some of the most important of these.
Industry associations exist for almost every area of work, and the financial sector is no exception. These groups come in various forms, but all are typically dedicated to one or more of the following goals:
Canada (and the world) has multiple different types of financial industry association, including:
As the financial industry is so varied, the different associations available can be split into focus. Let’s look at each major sector of the market in turn:
Professional associations offer a range of benefits, including but not limited to:
Every association is different, and the benefits versus the cost of each must be weighed against your company’s or professionals’ needs.
Professional associations usually come with some form of membership fee (though there are some free associations). The cost varies a lot, depending on the size and type of association, as well as the type of membership being sought. Many groups have tiered membership levels (e.g. affiliate membership versus full membership) and differing options for companies versus individuals.
Technically no, most professional associations in Canada are not formally regulated, unless they are officially recognized as representing the industry by the government (for example, the Canadian Bankers Association). However, almost all associations within financial services have indirect regulation by virtue of their business; all financial service providers in the country have to follow specific laws aimed at keeping consumers safe. And as most professional lenders associations are for specific company types or individuals in this sector, then it follows that the association’s members are governed by these laws. It’s also worth noting that most professional associations have their own internal by-laws and codes of conduct which their members must follow.