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Message from the Chair
On behalf of the Commission, I am pleased to provide the Financial Service Commission of Ontario’s (FSCO) Annual Report for 2017-18. This report provides details about our key activities and achievements over the year.
FSCO and the Financial Services Tribunal (FST), through their separate roles, exist to protect the public interest and promote public confidence in the regulated financial services sectors. This continues to be our focus as the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Ontario’s new financial services regulatory body, prepares to become operational in 2019.
FSCO’s priorities this year included reinforcing the importance of treating consumers and pension plan members fairly and enabling innovation in the face of an increasingly creative digital and technologically advanced society.
As I hope you will see from this report, we have made significant achievements in these areas, including drafting a FSCO guideline for financial services sectors on treating financial services consumers fairly and supporting innovative insurance solutions.
This year, the FST began a review of its forms and rules with a view to ensuring they accurately reflect current practices. The FST also continued to recruit adjudicators with broad expertise in the sectors regulated by FSCO to ensure that everyone who requests a hearing or appeal receives timely, accessible and impartial judgements. In addition, the FST will soon be issuing a new guide designed to assist self-represented parties when they appear before the tribunal.
We recognize that sound regulation and diligent oversight is critical. It is a significant responsibility – one that I know our staff take very seriously – and the accomplishments outlined in this report show FSCO is dedicated to this goal.
The results we have achieved would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of our people. To FSCO’s skilled and professional leadership and staff, and the FST members who work tirelessly to support the success of our organizations, the financial services industries, and the people of Ontario, I extend my sincere thanks.
Message from the CEO
I am pleased to provide the Financial Services Commission of Ontario’s (FSCO) Annual Report for 2017-18. This report provides details about the key activities and achievements our organization had this year.
We know Ontarians care about protecting their financial assets, especially when planning for the future for themselves and their families.
FSCO’s core mandate is to regulate the financial services sector to ensure consumers and pension plan members are protected when they make those key financial decisions throughout their lives.
Whether we are taking action against entities who act against the best interests of consumers, enabling innovative products and services, or engaging in the development of national policies and initiatives, we always act with Ontarians in mind.
THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Our Annual Report for 2017-18 highlights some of the many things our organization achieved throughout the past fiscal year. These highlights include:
- Issuing licence revocations and our largest-ever order for administrative monetary penalties – $1.1 million – for illicit activities related to syndicated mortgage investments.
- Expanding our oversight activities by enhancing desk reviews in the life insurance and service provider sectors, and targeted reviews on specific processes in the pension sector.
- Holding an inaugural market conduct symposium for service providers to build a culture of compliance and align with other regulated sectors.
- Working to protect pension plan members during Sears Canada’s insolvency and also promoting a smooth transition during Stelco’s change in ownership and restructuring.
- FSCO staff and other government employees were recognized with an Amethyst Award – the Ontario government’s highest recognition for employee excellence – for the role they played in protecting Stelco pension plan members.
- Being recognized on a national and international level for our public education work by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). FSCO won awards for our Financial Literacy Month campaign targeted at millennials about how to save, shop and apply for a mortgage, and how to work with brokers and agents.
- Enabling innovative and first-of-its-kind opportunities in the financial services sector for product and service delivery to reflect consumer preferences, such as working closely with Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) Insurance to approve a pay-as-you go auto insurance product.
- Leading and supporting significant national initiatives as part of our role in several national regulatory organizations, including the opportunity to host a pilot secretariat for the Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations.
On June 29, 2017, the
Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario Act, 2016 , came into force. The Act, many sections of which have yet to be proclaimed in force, establishes FSRA's role, including its basic governance and accountability structure, in regulating the sectors under its jurisdiction.
FSCO will continue to actively support FSRA’s efforts to prepare for the future and ensure a smooth transfer of current operations. However, until FSRA is operational, FSCO remains the financial services and pension plan regulator in Ontario.
I speak on behalf of everyone at FSCO when I say that it is a privilege to serve the people of Ontario. I am proud of what FSCO has accomplished this year, as exemplified in this report. Thank you to all the staff at FSCO for your continued integrity, hard work and determination. Our efforts make an important contribution to the strength of Ontario’s financial services sector and the confidence that consumers and pension plan members have as they make important financial decisions.
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