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FSCO on the National Stage
In 2017-18, FSCO further enhanced its reputation as a leader on the national stage. Over the past year, FSCO has influenced the development of provincial, national and international regulatory policy, been recognized as a first class regulator, and taken the lead on important cross-jurisdictional initiatives.
FSCO’S PARTICIPATION IN NATIONAL ORGANIZATION
FSCO remained steadfast in its commitment to supporting discussions, policies and projects at the national level through its participation in the following organizations:
- Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA)
- Canadian Automobile Insurance Rate Regulators Association (CARR)
- Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR)
- Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations (CISRO)
- General Insurance Statistical Agency (GISA)
- Mortgage Broker Regulators’ Council of Canada (MBRCC)
FSCO serves as Chair or Vice Chair of these groups, representing the province. In 2017-18, FSCO’s CEO was Chair of GISA, and Vice Chair of CAPSA, CCIR and MBRCC. FSCO also provides secretariat services to CAPSA, CCIR, MBRCC, GISA and, on a pilot basis, CISRO. These services include policy research; governance, project and operational support; and coordinating quarterly meetings.
FSCO’s participation in national organizations provides opportunities to strengthen relationships with other regulators, have input and influence at the national level, and affect positive change for consumers and pension plan members.
HARMONIZING CROSS-JURISDICTIONAL STANDARDS FOR MORTGAGE BROKER LICENSING EDUCATION
For years, Canada’s mortgage sector had varying licensing education requirements across the country. To address this, MBRCC spearheaded a FSCO-led initiative to harmonize mortgage brokering education standards.
In March 2018, the MBRCC launched a new Mortgage Education and Accreditation Standards User Guide, which outlines consistent accreditation standards to help course providers in the mortgage brokering industry achieve consistency in licensing education across the country. This will help ensure industry licensees across all jurisdictions are equipped with the required level of skills and knowledge to protect consumers’ interests and strengthen industry integrity.
ENABLING EXTRA-PROVINCIAL CREDIT UNION PARTICIPATION IN SYNDICATED LOANS
Syndicated loans are loans that are funded through multiple investors and provided to a single borrower. In order to improve risk management and increase access to funding to meet consumer demand, a regulatory change came into effect on January 1, 2018, allowing credit unions from outside of Ontario to participate in syndicated loans in Ontario if they are registered with FSCO. This stemmed from the 2014-2015 mandatory five-year review of the legislation and regulations governing credit unions and caisses populaires (the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994).
FSCO prepared for this regulatory change by implementing a review and approval process to handle applications from extra-provincial credit unions. Information for extra-provincial credit unions, including registration forms, is now available on FSCO’s website. Borrowers may now be able to access additional lenders through syndicated loans by their local credit unions.
HOSTING CISRO'S PILOT SECRETARIAT
In the fall of 2017, FSCO was selected to establish and host an 18-month pilot secretariat for CISRO. As an inter-jurisdictional association of regulatory authorities responsible for insurance intermediaries across Canada, CISRO is dedicated to developing consistent standards of qualifications and practice for insurance intermediaries. FSCO is providing a formal structure, resources, and dedicated policy and administrative staff to support the delivery of CISRO’s objectives through 2018-19.
“Achieving a higher degree of harmonization, supervisory cooperation, and jurisdictional participation
is a strategic priority for FSCO. Our reputation for delivering highly professional secretariat services
is leading to greater opportunities to deliver on this important priority.”
Peter Burston, Director, Regulatory Coordination Branch
In 2017-18, FSCO supported CISRO priorities, including the establishment of a committee to review licensing qualification requirements for general insurance across jurisdictions in Canada.
IMPROVING SEGREGATED FUND STATEMENTS
Segregated funds are financial investments offered by insurance companies because they contain an insurance component. FSCO is the chair of CCIR’s segregated funds working group, which has been developing a model investment statement that will help segregated fund contract holders better understand the costs associated with their investments.
With support from FSCO, the working group procured a market research specialist and held focus group sessions to obtain investor feedback on the ease and usability of the statement. The working group also consulted extensively with stakeholders and released a position paper in December 2017. CCIR will release the prototype statement and recommendations to the industry in 2018-19.
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