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. 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).

Financial Resources

OSFI recovers 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 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, 2015, OSFI employed 704 people in offices located in Ottawa, Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Accountability

Auditing

OSFI’s Audit Committee met five times in 2014-2015. 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 2014-2015, the Audit Committee received information and, as appropriate, provided advice and guidance on key activities including but not limited to: Enterprise Risk Management; 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.

Photo: Evelyne Gionet, Manager, HR Operations, Human Resources and Administration, Corporate Services Sector; Liz Amorim, Classification Advisor, Human Resources and Administration, Corporate Services Sector
Staff image Evelyne Gionet
Manager, HR Operations
Human Resources and Administration
Corporate Services Sector
Staff image Liz Amorim
Classification Advisor
Human Resources and Administration
Corporate Services Sector

Surveys and Consultations

OSFI routinely undertakes consultations with the financial institutions it regulates to help assess its performance and effectiveness as a regulator. Copies of the research reports are available on OSFI’s website.

  • In the fall of 2014, Environics Research Group conducted on OSFI’s behalf its biennial Financial Institutions Survey, an online tracking survey of CEOs across all federally regulated financial institutions.
  • In the fall of 2014, Harris-Decima acting on OSFI’s behalf conducted OSFI’s Pension Plans Survey, an online tracking survey of plan administrators and professional advisors of federally regulated private pension plans.
  • In the winter of 2014, The Strategic Counsel conducted on OSFI’s behalf an in-depth consultation with the property and casualty (P&C) insurance sector. The consultation is part of OSFI’s three-year, rotating, sector consultation program. The consultation comprised a series of confidential, one-on-one interviews with a sample of senior executives representing a cross-section of P&C companies regulated by OSFI.

The overall results of these consultations were positive, with participants indicating high levels of satisfaction with OSFI. Some areas for improvement were also identified and, where appropriate, OSFI has developed action plans to address these.

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. 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.

Photo: Mark Zelmer, Deputy Superintendent, Regulation Sector; Jeremy Rudin, Superintendent of Financial Institutions; Gary Walker, Assistant Superintendent, Corporate Services Sector
Staff image Mark Zelmer, Deputy Superintendent, Regulation Sector • Jeremy Rudin, Superintendent of Financial Institutions • Gary Walker, Assistant Superintendent, Corporate Services Sector
Photo: Jamey Hubbs, Assistant Superintendent, Deposit-taking Supervision Sector
Staff image Jamey Hubbs was named Assistant
Superintendent, Deposit-taking
Supervision Sector, in April 2015.