Businesses seeking to apply for incorporation as a bank or a trust company should become familiar with the requirements of Canada's federal financial regulator - the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).

Prior to initiating discussions with OSFI, applicants must conduct an assessment of the feasibility of becoming a Federally Regulated Financial Institution (FRFI). This includes articulating the reasons for establishing an FRFI, business strategy, proposed business model and management team, and potential impediments in connection with ownership structure and sources of capital. Applicants are required to prepare a written submission of this information prior to any discussions with OSFI.

Here’s what you need to know about the three-phase application process: