Canada

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OSFI issues final guideline on asset securitization

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has issued a final version of Guideline B-5: Asset Securitization (the Guideline), which sets out OSFI’s general expectations for asset securitization transactions undertaken by federally regulated insurance companies. The existing guideline on asset securitization was first published in November 2004, and does not adequately account for … Continue Reading

Federal Budget 2016 – Financial Services Regulatory Update

On March 22nd, the recently elected Liberal Government introduced its first budget since being elected last October.  In the Budget Plan, the Government has promised certain measures that will be relevant to banks, insurance companies and other providers of financial services and products.  Most of the proposed measures are similar to proposals that were raised … Continue Reading

New restrictions announced for residential mortgages

The Canadian government continues to be concerned with the escalation in house prices in Canada, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver.  While the government will not say that it considers these markets to be overvalued, clearly, there is concern that the extended period of low interest rates has caused homeowners to be overextended.  On December 11th, … Continue Reading

Anti-money laundering: long-awaited regulatory amendments

On July 4, 2015, proposed amendments to various regulations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and
Terrorist Financing Act (PC Act) were published in the Canada Gazette. Some of the key proposed amendments provide for the following: New, less prescriptive methods for verification of identity. These proposed amendments are particularly relevant for entities that transact … Continue Reading

Timing of the federal regulatory reforms in doubt

As reported in our post on April 21st, the federal budget speech released last April either announced or provided updates on a number of important regulatory initiates relating to the federal financial services sector.  Given the timing of the federal election this fall, it now appears likely that these initiatives will not be brought forward … Continue Reading

Draft P&C Demutualization Regulations Released

In 2010, Economical Mutual Insurance Company became the first property and casualty (P&C) company to announce an intention to pursue demutualization. Demutualization is the process through which a mutual company converts to a company with common shares. The Insurance Companies Act (ICA), which is the federal statute that governs most insurance companies in Canada, provides … Continue Reading

OSFI Releases Plans and Priorities for 2015-2016

On March 31st, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released its plans and priorities for 2015 and 2016. While the release contained many familiar themes, some of the plans and priorities are interesting because they signal a new focus for OSFI or a recommitment that may not have been expected. Institutions and … Continue Reading

OSFI Issues Final Revisions to Regulatory Compliance Management Guideline

On November 13th, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) issued the final version of Guideline E-13 – Regulatory Compliance Management (RCM Guideline).  The RCM Guideline sets out OSFI’s expectations for compliance risk management at all federally regulated financial institutions (including all Canadian banks and most Canadian insurance companies).  The Guideline replaces the … Continue Reading

OSFI Issues New Derivatives Best Practices Guideline

On October 1st, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) issued an updated guideline setting out its expectations with respect to the derivatives activities of federally regulated financial institutions.  The Guideline entitled Guideline B-7 – Derivatives Sound Practices, comes into effect on November 1st. Following the financial crisis of 2008, the G20 countries … Continue Reading

Senior Management Responsibility in Banks

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has put significant effort into updating its expectations for strong corporate governance, including forming a special division to deal with corporate governance issues, updating its Corporate Governance Guideline and, last May, publishing an Advisory on Changes to the Board or Senior … Continue Reading

Are Voluntary Commitments the New Trend in Regulation?

Yesterday, I posted some information about some voluntary commitments that the banks had made relating to residential mortgages, powers of attorney and joint accounts.  Clearly, the commitments were meant to address two hot topics in the industry, the continuing escalation of house prices, with the resulting high levels of consumer debt, and the aging population.  … Continue Reading

Insurers Implementing Own Risk Self-Assessment

On January 1, 2014, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (“OSFI”) implemented Guideline E-19: Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) and companion Guideline A-4: Internal Target Capital Ratio for Insurance Companies.  In this case, implementation meant that insurers were asked to, over a period of time, put in place the processes needed to meet … Continue Reading

Updated Guidelines for Compliance Risk Management Due Shortly

Last April, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released for comment an updated version of its guideline on Legislative Compliance Management (to be renamed Regulatory Compliance Management) (RCM Guideline).  The RCM Guideline requires that every bank and insurance company adopt a regulatory compliance management framework and sets out OSFI’s expectations regarding regulatory … Continue Reading
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