Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Corporate Overview

Role and Mandate

OSFI was established in 1987 by an Act of Parliament: the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act (OSFI Act). OSFI supervises and regulates all banks in Canada and all federally incorporated or registered trust and loan companies, insurance companies, cooperative credit associations, fraternal benefit societies and private pension plans. (See figure 1)

Federally Regulated Financial Institutions and Private Pension Plans*

Deposit Taking Institutions
Life Insurance Companies
Property & Casualty Companies
Regulated Private Pension Plans
Number of organizations 150 101 187 1,398 1,836
$3,196 $508 $124 $123 $3,951

*For a more detailed breakdown of each category, see figures 8 and 13.

OSFI’s mandate is to:

  • Supervise federally regulated financial institutions and private pension plans to determine whether they are in sound financial condition and meeting minimum plan funding requirements respectively, and are complying with their governing law and supervisory requirements;
  • Promptly advise institutions and plans in the event there are material deficiencies and take, or require management, boards or plan administrators to take, necessary corrective measures expeditiously;
  • Advance and administer a regulatory framework that promotes the adoption of policies and procedures designed to control and manage risk;
  • Monitor and evaluate system-wide or sectoral issues that may impact institutions negatively.

OSFI works with a number of key partners. Together, these organizations constitute Canada’s network of financial regulation and supervision and provide a system of depositor and policyholder protection.

OSFI’s legislation acknowledges the need to allow institutions to compete effectively and take reasonable risks. It also recognizes that management, boards of directors and plan administrators are ultimately responsible and that financial institutions and pension plans can fail.

Under the OSFI Act, the Minister of Finance is responsible for OSFI. The Superintendent is solely responsible for exercising OSFI’s authorities under the financial legislation and is required to report to the Minister of Finance from time to time on the administration of the financial institutions legislation.

The Office of the Chief Actuary (OCA), which is an independent unit within OSFI, provides actuarial services to the Government of Canada in the form of reports tabled in Parliament. While the Chief Actuary reports to the Superintendent, he is solely responsible for the content and actuarial opinions in reports prepared by the OCA. He is also solely responsible for the actuarial advice provided by the Office of the Chief Actuary to the relevant government departments, including the executive arm of provincial and territorial governments, which are co-stewards of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

Philippa Mbonye: Business Analyst, Client Portfolio Management, IM /IT, Corporate Services Sector - Superintendent of Financial Institutions; Narinder Virk: Information Technician, Information Management, IM /IT, Corporate Services Sector

Philippa Mbonye [L]
Business Analyst,
Client Portfolio Management, IM/IT,
Corporate Services Sector

Narinder Virk [R]
Information Technician,
Information Management, IM/IT,
Corporate Services Sector