New Financial Services Commission to be Established

December 22, 1997 -- Finance Minister Ernie Eves announced today that the legislation to establish a new Financial Services Commission has received Royal Assent and will be proclaimed in stages over the coming months.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario Act, 1997 merges the Ontario Insurance Commission, Pension Commission of Ontario, and Deposit Institutions Division of the Ministry of Finance into a single agency. The financial services that will be regulated by the new Commission include pensions, insurance, loan and trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires, co-operatives, and mortgage brokers.

"The merger will result in a more efficient and better coordinated financial services regulatory system while providing the public with greater protection. In taking this step, we are following a model that has proven successful in a number of jurisdictions in Canada and abroad," Eves said.

This change follows extensive consultation with people who have a stake in the financial services industries, that is, the regulated industries, consumers and professional groups. Stakeholders broadly support the new arrangement. It will streamline regulation, reduce cost, and strengthen consumer protection.

In response to stakeholders' emphasis on the importance of an independent appeal process, the new commission will include a tribunal to provide expert, prompt, and effective review of regulatory decisions.

The first step towards implementing the new structure will be the appointment of Dina Palozzi, currently Deputy Minister of Revenue and Financial Institutions and Commissioner of Insurance, as the first Superintendent of Financial Services and CEO of the new regulatory organization, effective January 1, 1998. As Superintendent, Ms. Palozzi will oversee the consolidation of the three existing organizations.

Until the new legislation is fully proclaimed at a later date, the existing regulatory bodies will retain their current authorities under the law.

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Contact: Elliott Katz
Communications Branch
(416) 325-0333