Ontario’s newest financial services regulatory body, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), has announced its priorities for the sectors it watches over, intending to provide sector-specific burden reductions while maintaining regulatory effectiveness.

Currently, the regulator is in consultations with sectoral stakeholders and reviewing existing guidance to see where opportunities for streamlining processes can be found.

  • The FSRA says it is close to introducing a new standard rate filing process for the auto insurance sector that will operate on a “file and use” basis. The regulator expects that insurers will be able to, when acting within FSRA-defined boundaries, implement rates in a matter of days. Not only does this act as a service standard for FSRA, but the regulator expects that consumers will receive rates that are more responsive to market conditions and therefore more competitive.
  • The regulator is conducting a review of syndicated mortgage investments (SMI), including whether the SMI disclosure requirements introduced in July 2018 are ensuring that risks are adequately disclosed to potential investors. After discussions with stakeholders, FSRA staff intend to focus their attention on those investments they deem “unfair” to investors. While targeting those specific transactions, the regulator expects it will also be possible to ease the regulatory burden on the broader sector.
  • The FSRA is presently in discussions with stakeholders in the pension plan sector. So far, its prime takeaways have included the need to support pension plan flexibility while supporting innovation.
  • With the amalgamation of the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO) and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) into the FSRA, the province’s credit unions and caisse populaires have been brought under the regulator’s aegis. The FSRA is presently reviewing all applicable guidance and documentation from the two predecessor agencies. After planned stakeholder consultations, and following the statutory rule-making process, the regulator expects to replace the DICO by-law governing credit union disclosure of deposit insurance with a new FSRA rule.

The link to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) website  can be found here.

For more information, please call Barbara Hendrickson at BAX Securities Law (416) 601 -1004.

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