Effective June 8, 2019, the Ontario government launched the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), which is a new independent and self-funded regulator of financial services and pensions that is intended to help reduce regulatory burden, among other things.
The Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017 (introduced as Bill 177) received royal assent on December 14, 2017, and created a legislative framework to enable FSRA to become a modern and adaptive regulator that protects consumers and pension plan beneficiaries.
FSRA replaces the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO).
The new regulator will oversee Ontario’s financial services providers, which includes the insurance sector, pension plans, loan and trust corporations, credit unions and caisses populaires, mortgage brokers, as well as service providers who invoice auto insurers for statutory accident benefit claims. Excluded from this are securities which are regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission. FSRA will tackle key priorities in its first year of operation that will reduce regulatory burdens for these sectors.
In particular, FSRA has an instrumental role in achieving the government’s priorities. This includes reforming auto insurance to increase access and affordability for drivers, as well as establishing title protection for financial planners and financial advisors to enhance consumer protection without introducing more regulation.
The Ontario Ministry of Finance will administer the former FSCO’s Dispute Resolution Services until June 30, 2020. During the transitional period, all open cases will continue, but new proceedings will not commence. As of July 1, 2020, any remaining cases will be extinguished and parties will be able to start new proceedings with the Licence Appeal Tribunal.
You can access the FSRA online at https://www.fsrao.ca/.