On October 13, 2022, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) launched a public consultation on its proposed 2023-2024 statement of priorities and recommended financial plan (the Statement of Priorities). FSRA’s proposed priorities continue to focus on fostering principles-based regulation, while delivering on outcomes that ensure consumer protection, support innovation, and effectively address emerging risks and supervision in the sectors it regulates. The Statement of Priorities will form the core of FSRA’s Annual Business Plan which will be submitted to the Minister of Finance for approval.
FSRA’s overall strategic priorities include:
- Strengthening the consumer focus;
- Modernizing systems and processes;
- Enabling innovation; and
- Enhancing FSRA’s talent management framework and strategy.
With respect to its focus on consumers, FSRA’s key deliverables include delivering and promoting research, data insights and analysis into trends, processes and issues that impact consumers in FSRA’s regulated sectors with the goal of achieving enhanced protection of consumer rights and interests with an emphasis on vulnerable consumers. Enabling innovation will involve deliverables such as using the data and knowledge gained from FSRA’s pilot Test and Learn Environments (TLE) to refine FSRA’s future usage, building the Innovation Office into a center of expertise and developing stronger ties with peer regulators and key stakeholders.
Priorities for the mortgage broker sector include promoting high standards of governance and business conduct and enhancing professional competence of licensed individuals. Key deliverables for this sector include: (i) consulting on best practices to improve the effectiveness of the principal broker’s role; (ii) developing a supervisory engagement model for mortgage brokerages and administrators; (iii) continuing to update the broker and agent licensing education courses; (iv) executing the multi-year plan to enhance continuous education requirements; and (v) consulting on best practices to ensure the suitability of mortgage recommendations for consumers.
Other priorities include ensuring the effectiveness of the title protection framework for financial planners and financial advisors. Key deliverables include assessing credentialing bodies to ensure that they meet FSRA’s minimum standards and have the necessary policies and procedures in place to protect consumers, as well as conducting a review of the framework to evaluate its effectiveness.
The Statement of Priorities includes a draft financial plan and FSRA’s cost projections for achieving its mandate and stated priorities. The public consultation is open for stakeholder feedback until November 11, 2022.