Summary of remarks by Peter Routledge at Simon Fraser University

Speech -

On February 17, 2023, Peter Routledge, Superintendent, spoke to Beedie School of Business students at Simon Fraser University on the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI)’ role in the financial system and raise awareness of key policy issues.

Of importance to students, Mr. Routledge highlighted climate risk management. Climate change and the global response to the threats it poses have the potential to significantly impact the safety and soundness of federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs), and the financial system more broadly. Building resilience against climate-related risks requires FRFIs to address vulnerabilities in their business model, their overall operations, and ultimately on their balance sheet. This entails forward-looking approaches that are holistic, integrated, and built on reliable empirical data and sound analyses.

On the evolving digital landscape, through OSFI’s Blueprint for Transformation 2022-2025, OSFI has created the Digital Innovation Impact Hub, focused on developing OSFI’s approaches to the regulation of digital technologies in the financial space with a current workplan focused on four key pillars: advancing policy work, creating a regulatory sandbox, developing supervisory practices and tools and, furthering stakeholder engagement. Superintendent Routledge discussed how digital currencies and decentralized finance may yet change people’s relationship with money but there remains a very important role for regulators in securing the system and people’s confidence in it.

With the inflation rate and overall rising housing prices, housing was top of mind to students. Rising interest rates and record indebtedness have created an elevated risk environment, where financially stressed borrowers represent a significant potential vulnerability for lenders and the Canadian financial system. Superintendent Routledge raised awareness of how OSFI continually monitors and reviews a range of vulnerability metrics including interest rates, household indebtedness, house price imbalances and macroeconomic data to ensure that the health of the housing financing industry remains resilient.

Lastly, Superintendent Routledge also shared his professional journey and lessons learned along the way. He highlighted to students the difference between the private and public sector and provided them with career advice.

Being back at the Beedie School of Business was a surreal experience filled with mixture of emotions – nostalgia and pride. Thanks to Simon Fraser University for the opportunity to meet and inspire the next generation of leaders.

— Peter Routledge, Superintendent


OSFI – Media Relations