Questions and Answers Relating to OSFI Service Charges

OSFI has prepared responses to a number of common questions that are likely to be raised regarding its service charges.

General Questions and Answers

  1. What is the Service Fees Act?

    The Service Fees Act (SFA) helps ensure that the fees federal departments and agencies charge remain current and better reflect the costs of delivering related services. The Government of Canada introduced the SFA in 2017 to replace the User Fees Act and increase transparency, accountability and predictability regarding service fees.

  2. What does the SFA require OSFI to do?
    • report on costs of services we deliver
    • publish fee revenues
    • issue fee remissions and report on them
    • establish service standards and make them accessible to the public
    • track and report on performance results
    • adjust fees for inflation, per the Consumer Price Index
  3. How will the SFA impact my fees?
    • Your fees will be adjusted annually by a rate that is set one year in advance and is based on Statistics Canada's April-to-April All-items Consumer Price Index (CPI). For example, the rate used for the fiscal year 2019-2020 is based on the April 2017 to April 2018 CPI. Refer to Statistics Canada's website for more information.
    • The first fee adjustment was an increase of 2.2% effective March 31, 2020, for all services provided.
  4. What is a remission?

    A remission is a portion of a fee that is returned to an affected fee-payer when a service standard is not met. As per the SFA, and based on Treasury Board policy effective April 1, 2021, if OSFI does not meet a particular service standard, we will issue a remission. OSFI's remission policy determines under what circumstances it will issue a remission.

  5. When can I expect to receive my remission?

    OSFI will remit fees in the quarter following the quarter in which the service standard was missed.

  6. Were any new service standards added? Were any existing service standards changed?

    We did not add any new service standards or make any changes to existing service standards. OSFI has redefined its existing service standards to reinforce client expectations and increase transparency and accountability. For more information, refer to our updated Service Standards / Fees.

  7. When were the service charges implemented?

    The service charges are set out in the Charges for Services Provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Regulations 2002, which came into effect on January 1, 1999. On April 28, 2006, the regulations were amended to reduce the number of service charges from 52 to 14. The remaining service charges include those charged to non-federally regulated institutions such as new entrants and foreign institutions, and those charged for rulings, accreditations, interpretations, capital quality confirmations, and copies of corporate documents. A list of applicable service charges is available on OSFI's website under Service Standards / Fees.

  8. Do the service standards relating to the service charges that were repealed still apply?

    OSFI believes that service standards enhance its accountability and transparency. The service standards therefore continue to apply, regardless of whether there is an associated fee. The service standards are available on OSFI's website under Service Standards / Fees.

  9. How were the amounts of the service charges determined?

    Service charges were determined through an internal review program, which assessed the time spent on common types of approvals or requests for authorization. OSFI regularly reviews the process to ensure that the service charges continue to be appropriate and equitable for all industry participants.

  10. How are large or complex requests handled?

    Fees for large or complex requests will be handled on an individual basis, and a separate contract may be established with the applicant.

  11. How do I know if my proposal/request is subject to a service charge? If it is, how do I know what the correct fee should be?

    OSFI encourages institutions or other external parties to discuss the nature of any requests with a representative from Approvals in the Regulatory Affairs Division prior to submitting the formal requests. A list of applicable service charges is outlined on OSFI's website under Service Standards / Fees.

  12. Where should an application/request be sent?

    Applications and requests for approvals should be sent to ApprovalsandPrecedents@osfi-bsif.gc.ca.

  13. Should a copy of the application be provided to the Relationship Manager?

    The original application for approval or a request for information should be sent to Approvals in the Regulatory Affairs Division. With the exception of requests for corporate documents, a copy of the application/request should be forwarded to OSFI's Lead Supervisor for the institution.

  14. At what point in the discussion/formal request process must a party provide a cheque to OSFI?

    Payment must be provided with the formal request for approval.

  15. To whom should the cheque be made out for an application/request that is subject to a service charge?

    The cheque should be made to the Receiver General for Canada.

  16. Does the applicable service charge include GST/HST?

    Only certain items in Schedule 2 of the Regulations require GST/HST in addition to the fee. GST/HST is payable on items 1, 3, 4 and 10 of Schedule 2, as listed in the Service Fees.

  17. Does an application/request that is subject to a service fee receive a higher priority status than other applications?

    No. Applications for approval will be treated in the same manner regardless of whether they are subject to a service fee. If an applicant or interested party wants information concerning the status of a request or regarding how long the request will take to process, they should discuss the situation with their Case Officer in Approvals.

  18. Are service fees refundable if the party subsequently withdraws its request or if approval is not granted?

    The normal practice at OSFI is not to refund fees once the review process has commenced, even if the application is subsequently withdrawn or turned down. OSFI encourages all parties to discuss the nature of their requests for approval with a representative in Approvals prior to submitting the request to find out if it meets the general guidelines of the legislation.

  19. How does a party making a request know if OSFI has received the application?

    Upon receipt of an application from ApprovalsandPrecedents@osfi-bsif.gc.ca, an automatic response is generated. Once the case is created, Approvals will further send an Acknowledgment of filing.

  20. In respect of the fees charged for corporate documents, how does the applicant determine the fee for multiple documents for the same institution? What is the fee, where the same type of document is requested for multiple institutions?

    Here are three illustrative examples:

    1. If a party were to request five certificates of confirmation for only one institution in a single request, the requestor will be charged for one certificate.
    2. If a party were to request five certificates of confirmation for three institutions, in one request letter, the requestor will be charged for three certificates, and
    3. If a party were to request a certificate of confirmation, a certified copy of letters patent and a corporate history for one institution in a single request, the requestor will be charged for three documents.