Briefly: “Sun Life enhances CI policy” and more of Tuesday’s news

By Staff | February 3, 2009 | Last updated on February 3, 2009
3 min read

Sun Life Financial has enhanced its critical illness insurance offering, becoming the first provider in Canada to cover acquired brain injury (ABI), damage inflicted by traumatic injury, anoxia, or encephalitis.

ABI can result in prolonged or permanent impairments such as short-term memory loss.

Sun Life researched the condition for over a year, working with its medical team and partners who have experience with ABI plans in the U.K., to develop definitions and coverage guidelines.

The firm has also unveiled a new long-term care conversion option, which allows policyholders to convert their CI coverage to LTC, guaranteeing their coverage regardless of their health. The LTC policy has an unlimited benefit period.

If the CI policy includes the return of premium on cancellation option, policyholders can receive the amount they paid in CI premiums when they convert to the LTC product.

Loss of independent existence has been added as an optional benefit, offering protection against physical and cognitive impairments not specifically covered by the CI policy.

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BMO offers RDSP, expects flood of interest

The Bank of Montreal has become the first Canadian bank to offer access to the registered disability savings plan, which was introduced in the 2008 federal budget.

“At the end of January we have set up more than 3,000 RDSP accounts from coast to coast,” said Linda Knight, president and COO, BMO Investments Inc. “This level of demand is a testament to the popularity of this new program and its importance to Canadian families.”

The bank has hired additional call centre staff and created a dedicated phone line to handle anticipated demand.

Contributions to an RDSP may qualify for payments from the Canada Disability Savings Grant program to a lifetime maximum of $70,000 per beneficiary. BMO reminds clients that they must make a contribution before March 2 in order to receive a federal contribution for the 2008 tax-year.

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RBC, Scotiabank boost overseas exposure

Two of Canada’s big banks are flaunting their relative strength, increasing their international footprint in the midst of the global financial services crisis.

RBC has announced it is expanding its business banking services in 12 countries in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. The bank will provide cash management services and products in Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and Vietnam.

“Establishing banking arrangements abroad can often be a complex process for businesses, no matter what their size,” explained Jana Henderson, director, Global Services, RBC Royal Bank. “RBC is already supporting our business clients’ needs here in Canada and across North America; and we’re now able to provide consistent, dependable banking experience for their international business needs as well.”

RBC will provide its corporate clients with foreign currency accounts held overseas. RBC is leveraging its relationship with Deutsche Bank, inked in May 2008, to provide these services.

Meanwhile, Scotiabank has announced the acquisition of an additional 24% of Thailand’s Thanachart Bank, bringing its stake to 49%, the maximum allowed under Thai banking regulations.

“The Thai market has solid fundamentals with good long-term growth prospects,” said Rob Pitfield, group head, international banking, Scotiabank. “[This transaction] is a great opportunity for us to capitalize on the strength of the Thai market and on the strong relationship that we have already built with Thanachart Bank.”

The latest share purchase cost Scotia about $270 million. The move increases the number of Scotiabank representatives on Thanachart Bank’s board of directors from two to three.

(02/03/09) staff


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