Summary of discussion with the Superintendent

On January 28, 2022, Superintendent of Financial Institutions Peter Routledge spoke at a Regulator Speaker Series virtual event hosted by law firm McCarthy Tétrault.

During a fireside discussion with Lucie Tedesco, Counsel and Strategic Advisor at McCarthy Tétrault, the Superintendent covered a range of issues, including his perspectives on his first seven months in the role. He spoke about how the increasing volatility and uncertainty in the financial and economic environment is with us to stay, and how OSFI is positioning itself to meet the challenges of this operating environment, highlighting OSFI’s new Blueprint which will help guide its direction.

When asked about OSFI’s near-term focus and policy priorities for 2022, Superintendent Routledge spoke about the challenges and opportunities presented by digitalization and climate change in particular. He also committed to further transparency on OSFI’s plans going forward.

Superintendent Routledge also highlighted OSFI’s prudential role in promoting sound residential mortgage underwriting through continuous monitoring of Canada’s housing finance system and, when required, reviewing and adjusting guidelines and buffers. The discussion included questions on his perspectives on what contributes to effective management of a modern organization, focussing on transparency and diversity and their role in recognizing and liberating talent.

Quotes

On Digitalization

“I have confidence that there is innovation from incumbents and non-incumbents. There are onerous hurdles to entering the regulated space that we as an agency are obliged to consider. From the systemic side, reliance on tech risk and concentrations with large providers needs to be part of how we look at risks in the future. Digital currencies and decentralized finance (DeFi) may yet change people’s relationship with money but there remains a very important role for regulators in securing the system and peoples confidence in it.”

On Climate

“We are still in the building mode on our climate policy, with the recognition that Canada is not in the driver’s seat on global transition policy decisions. OSFI is working on a framework and solutions that consider the consequences of a delayed start and an abrupt transition. We need to be prepared for an abrupt transition in a way that preserves the resilience of financial institutions and the stability of the Canadian financial system.”

On Transparency and Diversity

"Transparency energizes the urgency of the actions we are planning and engaging with others is an opportunity to share learning and experience to build something better. Diversity is not a matter of having a target, or merely meeting a moral obligation, but rather it is about recognizing and liberating talent and gaining value from a broader spectrum of perspectives. The discussions and decisions that result often have better outcomes."

- Peter Routledge, Superintendent

About OSFI

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institution (OSFI) is an independent agency of the Government of Canada, established in 1987, to protect depositors, policyholders, financial institution creditors and pension plan members, while allowing financial institutions to compete and take reasonable risks.

Media Contact

OSFI – Media Relations
Media-medias@osfi-bsif.gc.ca
343-550-9373