Flaherty tables new banking rules

The federal government introduced changes to the rules governing Canadian financial institutions Wednesday, including new regulations on bank ownership.
Ottawa has introduced updates to the rules governing Canada's banks and other financial institutions. (Adrien Veczan/Canadian Press)

The federal Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, introduced updates to the rules governing Canadian financial institutions Wednesday, including new regulations on bank ownership.

The bill increases the minimum value of shares in large banks that must be widely held from $8 billion to $12 billion. Ottawa said this is intended to help the banks keep pace with growth in the financial sector.

The changes will also allow agencies which regulate banks, credit unions, trust and loan firms and insurance companies in Canada to share information with their international counterparts.

As well, takeovers of financial institutions will continue to be subject to approval by the Finance Minister and the rules governing the issue of shares to foreign banks owned by foreign governments will be made more flexible.