Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Corporate
Overview

Staff image Lyse Lacourse
Administrative Coordinator,
Office of the Chief Actuary

Jacques Thibault
Senior Translator,
Communications and Consultations Division,
Corporate Services Sector
Photo: Lyse Lacourse, Administrative Coordinator, Office of the Chief Actuary; Jacques Thibault, Senior Translator, Communications and Consultations Division, Corporate Services Sector

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

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 have a negative impact on institutions.

From its mandate, OSFI has identified two strategic outcomes:

  1. A safe and sound Canadian financial system
  2. A financially sound and sustainable Canadian public retirement income system

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.

OSFI works with a number of key partners on the Financial Institutions Supervisory Committee (FISC), which the Superintendent chairs, including the Department of Finance, the Bank of Canada, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Together, these organizations constitute Canada’s network of financial regulation and supervision and provide a system of depositor and policyholder protection.

The Office of the Chief Actuary (OCA), which is an independent unit within OSFI, provides actuarial valuation and advisory 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 OCA to the relevant government departments, including the executive arm of provincial and territorial governments, which are co-stewards of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

Resources

Financial Resources

OSFI recovers all of its costs, as stipulated under the OSFI Act. The organization is funded mainly through asset-based, premium-based or membership-based assessments on the financial services industry and a user-pay program for selected services. A very small portion of OSFI’s revenue (0.7%) is received through an appropriation from the Government of Canada, primarily for actuarial valuation and advisory services relating to the Canada Pension Plan, the Old Age Security Program, the Canada Student Loans Program and various public sector pension and benefit plans.

Human Resources

As at March 31, 2013, OSFI employed 660 people in offices located in Ottawa, Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Staff image Carmen Chan
Audit Manager,
Internal Audit

Dave Jailal
Manager,
Deposit-taking Group,
Supervision Sector
Photo: Carmen Chan, Audit Manager, Internal Audit; Dave Jailal, Manager, Deposit-taking Group, Supervision Sector

Accountability

Auditing

OSFI’s Audit Committee met five times in 2012-2013. The Committee is comprised of three independent members, one of whom is the Chair, and the Superintendent. The mandate of the Committee is to provide objective advice and recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the adequacy and proper functioning of OSFI’s risk management, control and governance frameworks and processes, including accountability and auditing systems. During 2012-2013, the Audit Committee received information and, as appropriate, provided advice and guidance on key activities including but not limited to: OSFI’s Plan and Priorities 2013-2016; Quarterly and Annual Financial Statements; IM/IT Strategy; Performance Measurement Reporting; Internal Control over Financial Reporting; Values and Ethics; Internal Audit Reports; and Internal Audit operations.

Surveys and Consultations

OSFI regularly conducts anonymous surveys of knowledgeable industry observers to help assess its performance and effectiveness as a regulator. Survey results are disclosed on OSFI’s website.

In the autumn of 2012, The Strategic Counsel, on behalf of OSFI, conducted a series of confidential, one-on-one interviews with a sample of executives representing a cross-section of deposit-taking institutions regulated by OSFI. The survey report is entitled Deposit-Taking Institutions Sector Consultation 2012-13 Report of Qualitative Research Findings.

The Strategic Counsel also undertook a financial institutions survey on behalf of OSFI in late 2012. Chief Executive Officers of all federally regulated financial institutions were invited to participate in the brief online survey and nearly 190 institutions responded. The report is entitled Financial Institutions Survey Report of Quantitative Research Findings.

Benefits to Canadians

OSFI’s strategic outcomes, supported by our plans and priorities, are intrinsically aligned with broader government priorities, specifically strong economic growth, and income security and employment for Canadians, as identified in the Treasury Board Secretariat report Canada’s Performance 2010-11. A properly functioning financial system that inspires a high degree of confidence among consumers and others who deal with financial institutions makes a material contribution to Canada’s economic performance.

Connecting with Stakeholders

OSFI regularly communicates its plans and activities to a wide range of stakeholders. In 2012-2013, OSFI published a number of reports, which can be found on its website.

As in previous years, OSFI received many requests to address external conferences and events. The Superintendent and senior OSFI officials delivered presentations to industry and regulatory forums across Canada and internationally. Senior OSFI officials appeared once before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and three times before the Senate Standing Committee on Banking Trade and Commerce. Most speeches are available on OSFI’s website.

OSFI’s external newsletter, The Pillar, was published four times in 2012-2013. It serves to remind key stakeholders of the latest guidelines, notices, public statements, and other pertinent information released by the Office.

Sharing OSFI’s Expertise

Throughout 2012-2013, OSFI shared its expertise with interested Canadians, including members of the general public, industry, regulators, legislators and the news media, as follows:

  • Served 1,243,445 visitors to OSFI’s website
  • Responded to 12,444 public enquiries, 105 enquiries from Members of Parliament and 211 enquiries from representatives of the news media
  • Delivered 11 speeches and over 50 presentations to industry and regulatory forums
  • Processed 24 access to information requests and 43 consultations within permitted statutory timelines, as per the Access to Information Act, and one privacy request within permitted statutory timelines, as per the Privacy Act
Photo: Mark Zelmer, Assistant Superintendent, Regulation Sector; Gary Walker, Assistant Superintendent, Corporate Services Sector; Julie Dickson, Superintendent of Financial Institutions; Ted Price, Deputy Superintendent, Supervision Sector
Staff image Left to Right:
Mark Zelmer, Assistant Superintendent, Regulation Sector
Gary Walker, Assistant Superintendent, Corporate Services Sector
Julie Dickson, Superintendent of Financial Institutions
Ted Price, Deputy Superintendent, Supervision Sector

Staff image Andrew Kriegler
Assistant Superintendent,
Supervision Sector
Photo: Andrew Kriegler, Assistant Superintendent, Supervision Sector

Andrew Kriegler was appointed Assistant Superintendent, Supervision Sector, in February 2013, and replaces Deputy Superintendent Ted Price, who retired after 12 years at OSFI.