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FSRA releases principles for standardizing guidance

By The IJ Staff | October 21 2019 11:29AM

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Ontario, the province’s new, independent financial services regulatory agency, has released its principles for standardizing guidance.

In a statement, FSRA said it is committed to ensuring that stakeholders and consumers have clarity around their legal requirements and expectations across regulated sectors.

“Our new approach to standardizing guidance makes it easier to do business for those sectors in Ontario,” FSRA said. “It also makes us a more effective regulator. The public, new entrants and incumbents can better understand what is legally binding, what is FSRA’s interpretation or application of law and what information is designed to be helpful.”

New framework outlines principles of guidance

The framework will use accountability, effectiveness, efficiency, adaptability, collaboration and transparency as the principles behind the department’s approach to guidance.

FSRA supervises and regulates a number of different sectors, including insurance, pensions, loans and trust corporations, credit unions and mortgage brokers. It assumed the regulatory duties of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario in June.

“Standardizing our approach to guidance will make it easier to do business in those sectors, and will make us a more effective regulator. It will be easier for the public, new entrants and incumbents to understand what is legally binding, what is FSRA’s interpretation or application of law and what information is designed to be helpful.”

Meeting FSRA expectations

Under the framework, regulated persons must put in place processes, controls and procedures to appropriately meet the expectations expressed in FSRA’s guidance.

The FSRA statement said it will consult publicly on interpretation and approach guidance unless immediate action is required.

Once guidance is approved, the department said it will regularly review the guidance to promote “burden reduction” and effective regulation by updating or removing outdated items.

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