By Staff | September 18, 2008 | Last updated on September 18, 2008
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(September 18, 2008) Canadian consumer confidence rose in September, according to the latest reading of the TNS Canadian Facts’ Consumer Confidence Index. The latest measure stands at 99.6, up from 98.3 in August, and 96.5 in July.

“Although rising confidence over two consecutive months is welcome news, it is largely a reflection of Canadians’ improved expectations for the future, rather than positive assessments of how things are going right now,” said Richard Jenkins, vice-president of TNS Canadian Facts and director of the marketing research firm’s monthly tracking study.

When it comes to the current situation, Canadian sentiment fell from 108.3 in August to 106.9 in September, suggesting concern about current economic performance and employment prospects.

As for future expectations, sentiment is on the rise, with that measure increasing from 93.2 in August to 96.3 in September.

Jenkins cautions that the survey was taken before the latest round of problems in the U.S. financial sector, and that if it were conducted today, the reading might be lower.

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Wall Street needs to come clean

(September 18, 2008) America’s financial services industry needs to adopt greater transparency if it hopes to regain the trust of its clients, according to one influential business strategist.

“Rebuilding trust takes total transparency, which is completely feasible and affordable in a digitized world,” says Don Tapscott, co-author of Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. “As financial instruments became more complex, they became more opaque, which has proved disastrous. We need lots of the sunlight that smart digital tools could offer.”

Speaking at the 2008 Sibos Conference in Austria, Tapscott warns that America cannot afford to repeat the mistakes made by Japan in the early 1990s, which drove that country into a period of stagnation lasting almost two decades.

“The U.S. industry requires fresh capital and updated regulations, but that’s not enough to reboot the system,” says Tapscott. “Investors have been burnt badly, and some won’t fully trust Wall Street for many years, possibly a generation.”

He suggests that investors be given access to better information on such opaque financial instruments as collateralized debt obligations. “They won’t start buying until they fully understand what they are purchasing and know that the price is fair,” he says.

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BMO hires Brit to oversee Vancouver Island

(September 18, 2008) One of BMO Harris Private Banking’s B.C. offices is getting decidedly more international. The company hired Nigel Hawkins, a senior manager at Coutts & Co in the U.K., to be its new vice-president and market manager for Vancouver Island.

Hawkins has over 20 years of experience in wealth management and private banking, but it’s his work in countries around the globe that makes this executive’s experience that much more attractive.

“He brings a global perspective on a broad range of financial and wealth management matters that will be of great value to our clients,” says Diana Reid, BMO’s vice-president and managing director for B.C.

(09/18/08) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.