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:

Fostering sound risk management and governance practices

OSFI advances a regulatory framework designed to control and manage risk.

Supervision and early intervention

OSFI supervises federally regulated financial institutions and pension plans to determine whether they are in sound financial condition and meeting regulatory and supervisory requirements.

OSFI promptly advises financial institutions and pension plans if there are material deficiencies, and takes corrective measures or requires that they be taken to expeditiously address the situation.

Environmental scanning linked to safety and soundness of financial institutions

OSFI monitors and evaluates system-wide or sectoral developments that may have a negative impact on the financial condition of federally regulated financial institutions.

Taking a balanced approach

OSFI acts to protect the rights and interests of depositors, policyholders, financial institution creditors and pension plan beneficiaries while having due regard for the need to allow financial institutions to compete effectively and take reasonable risks.

OSFI recognizes that management, boards of directors and pension plan administrators are ultimately responsible for risk decisions and that financial institutions can fail and pension plans can experience financial difficulties resulting in the loss of benefits.

In fulfilling its mandate, OSFI supports the government’s objective of contributing to public confidence in the Canadian financial system.

OSFI works with a number of key partners on the Financial Institutions Supervisory Committee (FISC), which the Superintendent chairs, and includes the Department of Finance, the Bank of Canada, Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Together, these organizations constitute Canada’s network of federal 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. The Chief Actuary 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

Given that we work in a knowledge-based environment, we count on the expertise of our staff to meet our mandate and maintain our position as a world-class financial regulator. As at March 31, 2016, OSFI had some 700 talented staff in offices located in Ottawa, Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver. OSFI employees have a wide range of skills including financial services experience, regulatory expertise and risk management backgrounds, and use these skills in positions ranging from accountants and actuaries, to economists and professionals supporting corporate activities.  

Accountability

Auditing

OSFI’s Audit Committee, comprised of three independent members and the Superintendent, provides objective advice and recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the adequacy and functioning of OSFI’s governance, risk management and control practices.  With four meetings held in 2015-2016 throughout and a new Chair introduced as of February 2016, the Audit Committee continued to demonstrate significant value providing advisory services to the Superintendent with respect to key OSFI activities including:  Enterprise Risk Management, Quarterly and Annual Financial Statements, IM/IT Strategy, and the Internal Audit function. 

Staff image Casey Hawkins
Human Resources Advisor,
Human Resources,
Corporate Services Sector
Staff image Ayisha Pobal
Administrative Officer,
Security and Administrative Services Division,
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 2015-2016, The Gandalf Group conducted the Deposit-Taking Institutions Sector Consultation on OSFI’s behalf. The consultation takes place every three years and consists of one-on-one interviews with senior executives from deposit-taking institutions regulated by OSFI.

The overall results of the consultation were positive; feedback from participants indicates that OSFI is perceived to be professional, open and transparent. Some areas for improvement were also identified, and where appropriate, OSFI is developing action plans to address these.

Benefits to Canadians

OSFI’s strategic outcomes, supported by its plans and priorities, are intrinsically aligned with broader government priorities – specifically strong economic growth, income security and employment for Canadians. A properly functioning financial system makes a material contribution to Canada’s economic performance, and inspires a high-level of confidence among consumers and others who deal with financial institutions.

Staff image Jamey Hubbs, Assistant, Superintendent, Deposit-taking, Supervision Sector •  Mark Zelmer, Deputy Superintendent, Regulation Sector •  Jeremy Rudin, Superintendent of Financial Institutions •  Gary Walker, Assistant Superintendent, Corporate Services • Neville Henderson, Assistant Superintendent, Insurance Supervision Sector
Staff image Michelle Doucet was named
Assistant Superintendent, Corporate Services Sector, in June 2016.
Staff image Carolyn Rogers was named
Assistant Superintendent, Regulation Sector, in August 2016.