Ontario Revamps Financial Regulatory Companies

By Czarina Ara Lasco

Nov 10, 2016 06:00 AM EST

Charles Sousa, Ontario's Finance Minister said that the government is aiming to reinforce the government's oversight of credit unions, mortgage brokers, provincial pension plans and provincially registered insurers.

Arranged by the government body of Ontario, the formation of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority was said to be a key recommendation of a skilled panel on financial regulation. Last June, the final report of the panel was presented.

According to Sousa, there is "a lack of appropriate governance and accountability" in the present system, where consents for regulators including the Financial Services Commission of Ontario are out-of-date. Sousa furthered that because of this, the watchdogs are "constrained in carrying out their responsibilities.

In order to launch the latest regulator, legislation will have to be established, which the expert jury suggested should take on the supplementary command as Ontario's credit unions' prudential regulator.

Sousa also said that the details in connection with the said regulatory will be incorporated in the province's fiscal update on November 14.

The expert panel included well-known securities lawyer Lawrence Ritchie, George Cooke, and James Dew. In the month of June, the three concluded that the regulators in Ontario had not sustained with the adjustments in the markets, and that in the supervision of Ontario's financial services, "radical change is required".

According to a note published by lawyers at Stikeman Elliott LLP in June, included in the panel's 44 recommendations was that the latest regulator be provided with a broader consent than FSCO with widespread power to watch over and control the financial services sector in Ontario which includes rule-making powers. Further, it was also suggested that the new watchdogs would have split divisions for market behavior and prudential guidelines to supervise the constancy of the market.

In addition, the expert panel had also advised that more independence must be given to the Financial Services Tribunal, a full time head, and sufficient funds to entice qualified members necessary to perform its function. Meanwhile, the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario was suggested to be left to focus only on watching over the deposit insurance in the province.

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