Opening remarks, Assistant Superintendent Neville Henderson, prepared for OSFI’s Life Insurance Risk Management Seminar via Webcast, Toronto, Ontario June 25, 2020


Good morning everybody, and thanks for participating today.

I’m sure you all have so many unanticipated obligations that come with this current environment. It certainly has become a very challenging time, but leading into the pandemic there were growing challenges in the industry in any case.

At my last public speaking event in December, at least my last one in Canada, I spoke about some of the major risks facing the industry such as IFRS 17 implementation, anticipated market correction volatility, climate change, digitalization, cyber risk, demographic changes and strategic changes. All of these have now been magnified by COVID-19 and it’s really acted as an accelerant on a number of these issues.

All of this is in addition to the many issues the industry is already facing such as international changes in capital, reinsurance changes and general marketing changes right across their marketing environment.

We are working towards addressing those risks both on a regulatory and supervisory basis and I know you are working diligently on many of them from the business side. COVID has not made any of them disappear and it has certainly disrupted our plans. In fact, many of the risks and issues we identified have become far more impactful.

COVID has introduced new claims risks, which are more impactful on specific product types, but the impact on the markets, operations, digitalization and company strategies has really been dramatic and we see a growing in the future.

As we go through the sessions today you are going to hear from a wide range of experts on where we are, where we are going and our plan on how to get where we need to be going forward. These sessions and your engagement in them are critical in finding a way forward so I’m looking forward to openly sharing our approach on the issues that will shape the future.

I certainly thank you and I trust you will find the sessions today both informative and helpful and we encourage you strongly to ask questions.

Thank you.