COVID-19 Measures – FAQs on regulatory reporting for Federally Regulated Financial Institutions (FRFIs)

Following OSFI's announcements on March 27, 2020 and April 9, 2020, we have prepared a series of questions and answers on regulatory reporting requirements and the recent measures taken to offer FRFIs some flexibility to meet upcoming deadlines for filing regulatory returns.

Have a question that is not addressed in these FAQs? Please send your question to COVID-19FAQS@osfi-bsif.gc.ca.

  1. Why is it important for FRFIs to continue to file regulatory returns during the COVID-19 crisis?

    It is imperative that OSFI continues to receive FRFI information in a timely manner to ensure that the federal government can respond quickly to events as they evolve. Regulatory return data is essential to OSFI's ability to effectively supervise FRFIs, monitor financial stability and support other Government of Canada policies.

  2. What kind of regulatory filing relief is available to FRFIs (e.g. skipping submissions, partial submissions or delayed submissions)?

    OSFI is allowing FRFIs to request extensions to the scheduled filing date of their regulatory returns. FRFIs are not permitted to skip regulatory filings or submit incomplete regulatory filings.

  3. Are regulatory filing extensions available to all FRFIs?

    Yes - OSFI is providing all FRFIs (Banks, Foreign Bank Branches, Trust & Loan companies, Life & Fraternal companies, Property & Casualty companies and Mortgage Insurance companies) the opportunity to request extensions for their regulatory reporting. Separate guidance has been provided by OSFI to the Private Pension Plans that it regulates.

  4. Is OSFI providing blanket extensions for all regulatory returns that are required to be filed?

    No - OSFI is not providing blanket extensions on existing regulatory return filing requirements. OSFI is prepared to provide extensions on regulatory return filing requirements on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the unique circumstances faced by a particular FRFI.

  5. Updated - If OSFI grants a filing extension request, how much additional time will the FRFI have?

    The length of an approved extension will reflect each FRFI's unique circumstances, recognizing that extensions exceeding several days or weeks may impair OSFI's ability to effectively supervise FRFIs, monitor financial stability and support other Government of Canada policies. Furthermore, OSFI publishes certain FRFI regulatory data on its website and extended delays in the filing of regulatory returns may impact OSFI's ability to disclose this information to the public and other market participants. For extensions granted, FRFIs should continue to make every effort to file as scheduled, where circumstances permit, on a 'best efforts' basis (i.e. FRFIs should endeavour to file regulatory returns as scheduled, using available and/or estimated data, with amendments subsequently filed using final data on or before the revised due date).

  6. How will OSFI assess FRFI requests for regulatory filing extensions?

    Requests for filing extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the unique circumstances faced by a particular FRFI. Extensions will only be considered where circumstances merit relief (i.e. extraordinary operational or technical issues related to the COVID-19 crisis). OSFI can only provide extensions for those regulatory returns that do not have a statutory due date. FRFIs should contact their lead supervisor to request filing extensions.

  7. Can regulatory filing extensions be provided for returns that have statutory due dates?

    No – OSFI does not have the authority to provide filing extensions for those regulatory returns that have statutory due dates. If a FRFI does not file on or before the statutory due date OSFI may issue a Notice of Violation for a Late & Erroneous Filing Penalty or take other appropriate actions. OSFI will take into consideration the FRFI's unique circumstances for any late statutory filing when making a determination as to whether not to issue a Notice of Violation.

  8. Do FRFIs need to request filing extensions only once from OSFI?

    No – FRFIs must request approval from OSFI (via their lead supervisor) for all subsequent extensions of regulatory return(s), regardless of whether the same return(s) was previously granted a filing extension by OSFI.

  9. Do FRFIs need to make separate requests for regulatory filing extensions of other federal and provincial agencies and regulators (e.g. Bank of Canada, CDIC, provincial regulators, etc.)?

    Yes – The regulatory filing extensions addressed in these FAQs relates only to OSFI's regulatory returns. FRFIs requiring separate regulatory filing extensions from other federal and provincial agencies and regulators must request this directly through their regular contacts with those entities.

  10. How do FRFIs request regulatory filing extensions?

    FRFIs should proactively, wherever possible, notify their lead supervisor of any operational or technical challenges they encounter as a result of the current environment to request a regulatory filing extension. FRFIs should specify to their lead supervisor the regulatory return(s) they are seeking an extension for, including the rationale necessitating the request and the proposed length of the extension.

  11. Will a FRFI be charged a late filing penalty if they receive a filing date extension from OSFI?

    No – Where OSFI has granted a FRFI an extension to file a return that does not have a statutory due date, OSFI will not issue a Notice of Violation for a Late & Erroneous Filing Penalty. If, however, the FRFI does not file on or before the revised due date, a Notice of Violation may be issued or any other actions may be taken by OSFI, as appropriate. When determining whether to issue a Notice of Violation or take additional actions, OSFI will take into consideration the circumstances and any representations provided by the FRFI.

  12. What happens if a FRFI is late in filing a regulatory return due to operational or technical issues related to COVID-19 and did not get an extension beforehand?

    In those cases where a FRFI has attempted to file its regulatory returns within the required timeframe, and unforeseen technical difficulties arose that prevented the filing to occur, the FRFI should immediately notify its lead supervisor. OSFI will review the particular circumstances experienced by the FRFI in the filing process and the representations of the FRFI when determining whether to issue a Notice of Violation or take any other actions, as appropriate.

  13. Are there specific returns for which OSFI will provide blanket filing extension relief?

    No – All OSFI regulatory returns are expected to be filed, as scheduled, unless an extension has been granted.

  14. Updated - Are regulatory filing extensions, or other relief, only available for the regulatory information submitted via the Regulatory Return System (RRS)?

    No - FRFIs can request filing extensions on any event-driven, ad hoc or recurring regulatory information requirement (e.g. data calls, 2020 annual submissions for reinsurance, etc.) where the requested information is provided directly to OSFI. OSFI may provide a return filing extension where a FRFI experiences extraordinary operational or technical challenges resulting from the current environment, so long as a statutory-mandated timeline does not apply. FRFIs should specify to their Lead Supervisor the regulatory information for which they are seeking an extension or other relief, including the reasons for the request and the length of the filing delay. If a FRFI fails to provide regulatory information in compliance with a statutory-mandated timeline (e.g. a failure to notify the Superintendent of a declaration of a dividend on time), OSFI will take into consideration the FRFI's unique circumstances when making a determination as to whether or not to issue a Notice of Violation or an Administrative Monetary Penalty, as applicable.

  15. Can FRFIs submit regulatory returns using electronic signatures?

    Yes – Where applicable (e.g. unstructured regulatory returns for insurance FRFIs submitted via the Regulatory Reporting System) FRFIs can generally submit documents that are signed with an electronic signature. If the return contains an affidavit, an electronic signature is acceptable to OSFI insofar as this approach complies with the applicable laws and standards of the jurisdiction governing the affidavit process. For any technical assistance in submitting electronic signatures, please contact ReturnsAdmin@osfi-bsif.gc.ca.

  16. What about relief related to the implementation of regulatory return changes and new returns?

    On an annual basis, OSFI proposes changes to applicable regulatory returns as well as introduces new regulatory returns. Given the current environment, the implementation of planned changes to certain regulatory returns has been delayed (see full letter for details). Further, the implementation of previously agreed upon changes to regulatory returns will continue as scheduled for Q1 2021 (Standardized Institutions Risk Asset Portfolio Information – RAPID1, IRB Credit Data Wholesale Transaction – BE and Mortgage Loans – E2). FRFIs experiencing challenges in meeting these requirements should contact their lead supervisors.

  17. New - How will OSFI monitor financial risk in a timely manner if FRFIs are provided regulatory return extensions?

    OSFI, in partnership with other key federal partners, has assessed regulatory return information deemed to be of critical importance in supervising FRFIs and informing the Government's response to this crisis. Lead Supervisors will actively communicate with their respective FRFIs that key returns related to liquidity, capital and financial position continue to be filed in a timely fashion, to the extent possible.

  18. New - How long will OSFI offer regulatory return filing extensions?

    OSFI will continue to consider regulatory return filing extensions, on a case-by-case basis, to FRFIs until further notice, insofar as they continue to experience significant operational or technological issues related to the COVID-19 crisis. OSFI's granting of regulatory reporting extensions related to the COVID-19 crisis will be informed by the federal government's assessment of the situation and the need for ongoing assistance.