Rivals call foul, claim BMO breaching insurance rules

Canada’s financial regulator is investigating Bank of Montreal’s sale of an new savings product that executives at rival financial companies say violates the federal prohibition on dealing insurance products in bank branches.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) confirmed that it is reviewing a new product the bank is selling, called BMO Lifetime Cash Flow, which provides buyers 55 and older with guaranteed payments for life. Banks are prohibited by law from selling most types of insurance in their branches, and a number of life insurers are angry about this new product, which they claim is essentially an annuity.