On March 23, 2017, the Joint Regulators Committee (JRC) of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) released its 2016 Annual Report (the Report) which summarizes the JRC’s activities in 2016, including, as is periodically required by its agreement with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), an independent evaluation of OBSI’s operations and practices for its investment mandate.

The evaluator (a former New Zealand Banking Ombudsman) recommended a number of enhancements to OBSI’s mandate, including the ability to make binding awards and a public policy function under which it would prepare submissions on regulatory and legislative proposals and advise regulators on the effectiveness of existing regulations. The evaluator also recommended raising OBSI’s compensation cap and increasing clarity around the negotiated settlement process by, for example, including a rationale for settlement amounts in settlement letters and by publishing a short guide to the process for firms and consumers.

The JRC consists of representatives of the CSA, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA). It meets periodically with OBSI to review matters related to the OBSI dispute resolution services that registered dealers and advisers are required to make available to their clients in accordance with National Instrument 31-103, (except in Quebec, where the AMF provides similar services).

Related documents that may be of interest to our readers include OBSI’s response to the independent evaluation and its Strategic Plan for 2017-2021. For further information, please see CSA Staff Notice 31-348 OBSI Joint Regulators Committee Annual Report for 2016 (March 23, 2017).