Sun Life Financial announces appointment of Helena Pagano

Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX: SLF) (NYSE: SLF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Helena Pagano as Executive Vice-President, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer, effective June 11, 2018.

Reporting to Dean Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Helena is responsible for leading Sun Life’s enterprise-wide human resources and communications strategies, programs and governance. It is a critically important role as we drive for a disproportionate share of top talent, wrapped in a diverse, inclusive and engaging culture.

Helena Pagano (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)

“Since joining Sun Life, Helena has had a big impact, enhancing our approach to global wellness, data and analytics, and our employee agile program,” said Dean Connor, President and CEO, Sun Life Financial. “She demonstrates the leadership and forward-thinking that will continue to support our Client For Life strategy and purpose of helping Clients achieve financial security and live healthier lives.”

Helena brings deep global human resources expertise, with more than 20 years in financial services supporting retail and institutional businesses. Prior to joining Sun Life, she held several senior roles in financial services. She joins an Executive Team committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, which includes strong female representation in leadership roles. Helena succeeds Carrie Blair who announced her retirement from Sun Life earlier this year.

Helena is a Board Member of the Artists’ Health Alliance and is a member of the United Way’s Major Individual Giving Cabinet.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canadathe United States, the United KingdomIrelandHong Kongthe PhilippinesJapanIndonesiaIndiaChinaAustraliaSingaporeVietnamMalaysia and Bermuda. As of March 31, 2018, Sun Life Financial had total assets under management of $979 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars

Media Relations Contact:
Irene Poon
Manager, Media & PR
Corporate Communications
T. 647-256-2596
irene.poon@sunlife.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Greg Dilworth
Vice-President
Investor Relations
T. 416-979-6230
investor.relations@sunlife.com

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.

Worry-Free Money Starts with Worry-Free Spending

Smart money management starts with smart spending. That’s why Interac has teamed up with money expert Shannon Lee Simmons to help Canadians manage their everyday spending, a process that starts well before reaching the till. According to Simmons, having a spending strategy in place – versus a ridged budget – and choosing to pay with your own money are great tools to avoid what she calls the ‘spending vortex’.

“The spending vortex, or that feeling when the paycheque has just come in and you realize it’s gone before debating on dinner on the town or brunch with friends, can be combated with a spending strategy,” says Shannon Lee Simmons, financial planner and founder of the New School of Finance. “This means understanding if a purchase is realistically within your means and choosing a safe way to pay for it using your own money like Interac Flash.”

Simmons occasionally hears from her clients that they are hesitant to try out a new spending strategy or a new payment method like Flash®, but stresses that easy ways to pay with your own money can go hand in hand with a savvy spending strategy. Understanding the rationale behind why the approach works helps encourage her clients to try something different. Together with Interac, she offers Canadians tips to smart spending, before and at the till:

  1. Ditch the rigid budget: Budgeting with 50+ spending categories – from coffee shops to takeout to clothes, pets, housing and bills – isn’t realistic and sets the average person up for failure. There are only four types of money that needed in a budget:
    • Fixed Expenses, or the bills that must be paid each month, like housing, insurance, or minimum debt payments
    • Meaningful Savings, which includes money that’s put aside to improve overall net worth by increasing assets or decreasing debts
    • Short-Term Savings, or money to stash away for emergencies or spikes in spending.
    • Spending Money, which is the money left over to spend on things like groceries, gas, clothes and entertainment, offering greater flexibility to account for shifting priorities month to month.
  2. Spend with purpose: Don’t fall into the trap of mindless spending. Carve out time each payday to allocate money to the first three categories, and the remainder that’s left becomes the fourth category. Sticking to one payment method, like Interac Flash® or Debit on your mobile device, allows you to use your own money for purchases until the spending category reaches zero for that pay period. Plus, with an online banking app you can instantly see transactions in real-time and keep track of where you are throughout the pay period.
  3. Protect your hard-earned cash: A spending strategy is one thing, but Canadians also need to know the payment method they choose is safe. Contactless payments make it easy to flash your debit card or mobile device quickly – and securely – to pay for things like groceries, gas or that morning coffee using your own money. One of the safest forms of payment available today, Interac Flash has built-in secure EMV processing, making it next to impossible for criminals to counterfeit your card, protecting you against fraudulent activity such as skimming, transaction replay, and electronic pickpocketing. For added peace of mind, the Interac® Zero Liability Policy* protects you from losses that are beyond your reasonable control if your card is ever lost or stolen, and transactions limits set by your bank will occasionally prompt you to identify yourself with your PIN. Additionally, since your debit card number is an identifier only, the card number alone cannot be used to make a purchase. Your debit card must be present to make a purchase as all transactions happen in real time. This applies whether you insert your card and enter a PIN, use Interac Flash or Interac Debit on your mobile device.
  4. Digital payments are just as safe: Just like your debit card number is only an identifier in store, when you add your Interac Debit card to your mobile wallet, your card number is substituted with a token, a unique ‘virtual account number’, so no financial information is stored or shared with the merchant. As an added layer of security, your mobile wallet is also typically protected by Touch ID or passcode.

“With a spending strategy in place, spending can and should be enjoyable and that includes the payment method itself,” said Martin Ho, Head of Core Products, Interac Corp. “While it seems like there are more ways to pay than ever, each new payment evolution – think magnetic strip to chip and PIN to flash and mobile – has gotten more secure over time. That means you can use Flash or Interac Debit on mobile to pay with your own money knowing the transaction itself is secure – however you choose to pay.”

For more information about Interac Flash, visit interac.ca/flashsecurity

About Interac Corp.

Interac Corp. operates an economical, world-class debit payments system with broad-based acceptance, reliability, security, and efficiency. The organization is one of Canada’s leading payments brands and is chosen an average of 16 million times daily to pay and exchange money. For more than 30 years, Interac Corp. and its predecessors, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation, have facilitated secure financial transactions through the development of innovative and convenient debit and money transfer solutions. A leader in the prevention and detection of fraud, the organization has one of the lowest rates of fraud globally. Visit interac.ca or follow @INTERAC on Twitter. Interac Corp. has a diverse group of shareholders that includes banks, credit unions, caisses populaires, payment processors and merchants.

Interac, Interac Flash, and Flash are registered trade-marks of Interac corp.
*Protection applies to losses resulting from circumstances beyond your control. Some conditions apply. See your financial institution for details.

SOURCE Interac Corp.

Don’t let your credit die of neglect

By Liz Weston

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Certified financial planner David Rae says he used to think that  “anyone who could draw breath” could get an auto loan. Then one of his millionaire clients tried to buy a car and failed.

The 42-year-old client was turned down for a loan because he had no credit scores , says Rae, who is based in Los Angeles.

Nineteen million American adults are “unscoreable,” lacking enough recent credit history to generate credit scores, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They either have “thin” files, with too few accounts, or  “stale” ones that haven’t been updated in a while.

Roughly 7 million of these people are what credit scoring company FICO calls “credit retired.” They no longer actively use credit, but their histories are free from charge offs, collections or other negative marks that might indicate that “their exit from the credit mainstream was involuntary,” says Ethan Dornhelm, FICO’s vice-president for scores and predictive analytics.

HAVING NO SCORES CAN COST YOU

These consumers can face a host of potential problems, including:

– People without scores could be shut out of credit they might want in the future, including rewards credit cards and low-cost loans.

– Insurers typically use credit-based scores to set premiums for auto and home insurance, so not having credit could cause those without scores to miss out on lower rates.

– People with no credit scores may not qualify for the best cellphone plans and may have to make bigger deposits to get utilities.

The median age of these credit retirees is 71, Dornhelm says. They may have retired from work, paid off their homes and feel no need to borrow money. But the credit retired also can include younger people, including those who live cash-only lifestyles.

CREDIT SCORES CAN DIE FAST

They may not realize that credit scores can die relatively quickly. While closed accounts in good standing typically remain on credit reports for 10 years, lenders often stop updating those accounts soon after they’re closed. Without updates, scores can’t be generated. The FICO scoring formula used in most lending decisions requires peoples’ credit reports to show at least one account that’s been updated within the previous six months.

The rival VantageScore looks back somewhat further, 24 months, for updated accounts. VantageScore and FICO’s alternative formula, FICO Score XD, also generate scores for people based on their histories paying noncredit accounts, such as telecommunications and cable bills. But applicants typically can’t know in advance if a lender uses VantageScore or an alternative score, so they should assume it will be a traditional FICO score.

USING ONE CREDIT CARD CAN SAVE THE DAY

The key to reviving traditional scores? Having and using a single credit card is enough, as long as the card issuer reports to all three credit bureaus (most do). Balances can and should be paid in full each month, since there’s no credit score advantage to carrying debt.

Rae’s client was a renter whose only credit card was tied to his business. Business credit cards often don’t show up on individuals’ credit reports. Rental payments are included on some credit reports, but they’re not factored into the most commonly used FICO credit scores.

So Rae had his client apply for a secured credit card, which required a $500 deposit to get a $500 credit limit. After four months, the client applied for a regular credit card from his bank. His healthy account balances helped convince the bank he was a good bet, Rae says.

Having lots of assets or making big down payments can help the credit retired get approved for many types of credit, notes Jeff Richardson, vice-president of communications for VantageScore. Credit unions, which are member-owned, may also be willing to look beyond credit scores when making lending decisions, Richardson says.

Two months after being approved for the credit card, Rae’s client got a car loan. And a year after that, he got a mortgage to buy a multimillion-dollar home, Rae says.

“It’s all good . but it was rough and a big hassle at the beginning,” Rae says.

Bank of Canada holds interest rate, underlines ‘growing’ trade uncertainty

By Andy Blatchford

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ A cautious Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate on hold Wednesday as it bought itself more time to monitor mounting trade-related uncertainties out of the United States.

In sticking with its 1.25 per cent overnight target, the central bank blamed recent trade policy changes for the thickening clouds around the economic outlook.

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose heavy tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. The announcement added to an already murky context for Canada that includes concerns over NAFTA’s renegotiation and fears over competitiveness, following corporate tax cuts south of the border.

The prospect of tariffs has created deep concerns in Canada, the No. 1 supplier of both steel and aluminum to the U.S. Ottawa has hinted at retaliatory action, as have the European Union and Mexico, in what could become an all-out trade war.

Trump has said that Canada and Mexico might be spared from his plans for a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and 10 per cent tariff on aluminum imports if they agree to better terms for the U.S. in talks aimed at revising the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Bank of Canada noted the widening unease around protectionism, without explicitly mentioning the tariff threat.

“Trade policy developments are an important and growing source of uncertainty for the global and Canadian outlooks,” the bank said in a statement Wednesday that accompanied its latest rate decision.

Many experts now believe the central bank will likely wait until the second half of the year before raising the rate again. Some say the next hike might not come until 2019 and at least one economist said Wednesday that, depending how things evolve, the bank could even lower the rate this year.

“If the worst-case scenario of some kind of trade war goes ahead, well, the chances of a rate cut this year are real,” Sebastien Lavoie, chief economist of Laurentian Bank Securities, said in an interview.

‘It seems to us that it’s very unlikely the Bank of Canada will be able to raise rates in the first half of this year. If it happens, it will have to be in the second half of this year and that may not even happen.”

Josh Nye, an economist with RBC Economics Research, said it’s unlikely metals tariffs on their own would drastically change the central bank’s thinking about whether it stays on a rate-hiking path.

“But if tit-for-tat measures escalate into a full-blown trade war _ and to be clear, we aren’t nearly there yet _ the (Bank of Canada) would have to rethink their tightening bias,” Nye wrote in note to clients.

Experts said the Bank of Canada’s statement also raises other arguments to help support a wait-and-see approach with the interest rate.

The statement pointed to weaker-than-expected growth in the fourth quarter, largely due to higher imports, and said that while wage growth had improved, it still remained below where many expect it should be in an economy with no labour-market slack.

The bank also stressed the need for more time to assess the impacts of new housing-market policies, including recent changes to mortgage rules. It said a surge of strong numbers in late 2017 was followed by softer figures early this year, suggesting “some pulling forward of demand ahead of new mortgage guidelines and other policy measures.”

Growth in household borrowing has also slowed for three-straight months, the statement said.

The bank also noted some encouraging economic developments.

It said global growth continued to be solid and broad-based, the economy was running close to its potential and stronger business investment suggested economic capacity could grow even further without lifting the inflation rate. Looking at the U.S., the bank predicted fresh government spending and tax reductions to increase growth in 2018 and 2019.

The bank also reiterated that more interest rate hikes will likely be necessary over time, but that the governing council will remain cautious when considering future decisions. The council will continue to be guided by incoming data, such as the economy’s sensitivity to higher rates, the evolution of economic capacity and changes to wage growth and inflation, it said.

Ahead of the announcement, governor Stephen Poloz was widely expected to hold off moving the rate because of weaker economic numbers in recent weeks and the expanding trade uncertainty.

Statistics Canada released figures earlier Wednesday suggesting the country’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed in January, though economists noted it was driven by a plunge in imports.

The deficit was $1.9 billion compared with a deficit of $3.1 billion in December. Imports totalled $47.7 billion, down 4.3 per cent from a record level in December, while exports fell 2.1 per cent in January to $45.8 billion.

Poloz has introduced three rate hikes since last summer, including an increase in January. The moves came in response to an impressive economic run for Canada that began in late 2016.

The central bank’s next rate announcement is scheduled for April 18, when it will also publish its updated economic projections. The bank said the impacts on inflation and growth from commitments in last month’s federal budget would be incorporated into its April projections.

Manulife posts $1.6 billion fourth quarter net loss on $2.8 billion in charges

TORONTO _ Manulife Financial Corp. says a $2.8-billion post-tax charge related to U.S. tax reform and a decision to change its portfolio asset mix resulted in a $1.6 billion or 83 cents per diluted share net loss in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The company earned a net profit of $63 million or a penny per share in the year-earlier period, in which it declared a $1.2-billion charge related to the direct impact of markets.

Manulife CEO Roy Gori says the tax change that hit net income in the most recent quarter will benefit the company in the future, adding Manulife is “fully committed” to transforming its business to become a digital leader with stronger customer focus.

The financial services and insurance company says its quarterly dividend is being increased by seven per cent to 22 cents per common share from 20.5 cents.

It says earnings before special charges in the fourth quarter were $1.20 billion or 59 cents per share, down six per cent from $1.29 billion or 63 cents per share in the same period of 2016, due to lower investment gains, offset by strong growth in Asia business.

For the year, Manulife says it had net earnings of $2.1 billion or 98 cents per share, compared with $2.9 billion or $1.41 per share in 2016.

It says its core earnings before charges for 2017 were $4.56 billion or $2.22 per share, up from $4.02 billion or $1.96 per share in 2016.

iA Financial Group adds travel insurance to its individual insurance offer

In collaboration with established partner, TuGo

QUEBEC CITY, Jan. 17, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – iA Financial Group is proud to partner with TuGo, one of the largest providers of travel insurance in the country, to offer travel insurance and provide its clients with TuGo’s recognized quality customer service and expertise. TuGo has more than 50 years of experience assisting travellers across the globe.

Distinguishing features of this insurance:

  • Simplified eligibility criteria
  • Reliable emergency assistance anywhere in the world, 24/7
  • Multilingual customer service
  • myTuGo online client portal

“Travel insurance meets the needs of most people who are concerned with being properly protected when they travel, states Pierre Vincent, Senior Vice-President, Individual Insurance and Sales at iA Financial Group. We are proud to extend our product offer through our partnership with TuGo, a company that is recognized for the quality of the service it provides.”

iA Financial Group’s new travel insurance product is exclusively digital and can be obtained from an advisor or directly at ia.ca. There are no medical eligibility questions for travellers under 60; travellers 60 or older are only required to answer five simple questions.

About iA Financial Group
Founded in 1892, iA Financial Group is one of the largest insurance and wealth management companies in Canada. It also operates in the United States. iA Financial Group stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol IAG.

iA Financial Group is a business name and trademark of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

SOURCE Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

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