Initiatives

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BCFSA undertakes a number of initiatives related to its mandate to regulate the financial services sector in British Columbia. We are working to achieve our goal of becoming a modern, effective and efficient regulator. Major initiatives in the follow areas are currently underway.

  • The Integrated Regulatory Information System (“IRIS”) is a modern relationship management system that optimizes and automates submissions and filing processes. It will help to improve information quality, data collection, document management, reporting, and accessibility. Ultimately, IRIS will boost our overall regulatory effectiveness while creating efficiencies and decreasing the risk of errors.

    Accessible via BCFSA’s new website, IRIS will be launched in stages. The first stage launched in September 2021, allowing mortgage brokers, credit unions, insurance companies, and trust companies to submit certain filings and submissions, with remaining filings and functionality coming online incrementally through 2022. As we make progress in each stage, we will also be reaching out to a sample group of users to solicit feedback and comments for consideration.

    Learn more
  • BCFSA is undertaking a comprehensive review of existing regulatory instruments to standardize our approach to communicating information, expectations, and requirements to regulated entities. The work to review, revise and reclassify existing regulatory instruments is expected to be completed between August 2021 and 2023. Learn more about advisories, Regulatory Statements, and Guidelines.

    BCFSA uses a number of regulatory instruments to inform the business activities of regulated entities. These instruments are publicly available through this website. These instruments do not include consumer facing information, general communications tools (e.g. news releases, newsletters to licensees), and enforcement tools (e.g. discipline orders, administrative penalties).

    What Is the Impact on Regulated Entities and Individuals?

    Advisories

    Regulated entities and individuals should monitor Advisories as the content will be material to their business activities.

    Regulatory Statements

    Regulated entities and individuals must follow the instruction/directions, including using any prescribed templates/forms, that are set out in a Regulatory Statement.

    In the case of non-compliance with a Regulatory Statement, BCFSA can apply regulatory sanctions, refuse to process submissions, or not authorize entities to conduct a regulated activity.

    Regulatory Statements can also include interpretations of legislation. Interpretations have legal importance as they clarify how BCFSA will interpret certain statutory provisions. Regulated entities may rely on the interpretations in BCFSA non-compliance proceedings.

    Guidelines

    Regulated entities are expected to follow guidelines, even though they are not legally binding.

    BCFSA has a number of options when regulated entities fail to follow a Guideline. For example, where a failure by a financial institution to follow the principles established in a Guideline increases the risk facing the financial institution, BCFSA can adjust a financial institution’s risk rating, impacting premiums.

    BCFSA encourages the use of guidelines through education, voluntary compliance, escalated warnings, and potentially a regulatory penalty, where a breach of guidelines by a licensee/registrant is a breach of regulatory requirements.

  • BCFSA’s Regulatory Roadmap is intended to increase transparency to stakeholders and provide regulated entities with advanced notice in order to plan resources, as necessary.

    The Roadmap has four strategic themes:

    Enhanced regulatory monitoring tools and reporting. BCFSA will continue to modernize its approach to collect and use information in a way that creates efficiencies and better protects and informs the Financial Services Sector;

    Strengthened internal controls. BCFSA will outline expectations and requirements for provincially regulated financial institutions to manage material risks;

    Market Conduct. BCFSA will establish expectations and requirements for regulated entities pertaining to the conduct of business to ensure the fair treatment of members and customers; and

    Crisis Preparedness Framework. BCFSA will establish expectations and requirements to prepare a provincially regulated financial institution to meet its financial obligations in the event of a risk or shock.

    Ongoing dialogue with regulated sector participants has helped to shape and develop the content of the Roadmap. BCFSA values this feedback, and encourages regulated entities to continue to submit questions or comments about the Roadmap process or its contents to [email protected].

    Regulatory Roadmap Resources