IRIS Frequently Asked Questions

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General

Using the System

  • Yes, and you will receive notification when your application has been approved.

  • Once you have hit ‘submit’ in the upload process, all files are locked as received by BCFSA and there is no option to view or download them. Contact BCFSA if you need to make a change after you have completed your submission.

  • Yes, IRIS allows you to continue your application or submission from where you last left off. Just hit ‘save’ at any point if you need to leave your work and once you log back into the portal you may continue from where you last saved.

  • If you have not yet hit submit, you can always go back to where you left off or the previous page and make the necessary changes. IRIS has been designed with some basic data validations. You may receive a ‘warning’ message that you will need to respond to in order to continue your submission, or you may receive an ‘error’ message in which case you will need to update the data accordingly in order to continue with your submission.

    Once submitted, however, you will need to contact BCFSA via your normal point of contact or relationship manager to make changes or corrections. 

  • Yes, all details of what you have submitted are available for review in the IRIS system.

  • IRIS will accept payments up to $6000 in the portal. For payments over this amount, the out of portal payment method must be used. The out of portal payment option is only available for financial institutions. All other payments must be submitted in portal using a credit card.

  • 50MB.

  • For technical support for the IRIS platform, please contact [email protected]

    For support with financial institution regulatory filings, please contact [email protected]

    For approvals support, please contact [email protected]

    For mortgage brokers support, please contact [email protected]

Security

  • Yes. As part of BCFSA’s information management strategy, almost all IRIS data is stored on secure Microsoft cloud servers located within Canada. 

    The only piece that isn’t is the IRIS user authentication/login process, which takes place over Microsoft servers located within their secure data center in the United States. The following notice is posted on the IRIS login page:

    “For security purposes, and to manage login credentials, your email address and password will be stored and accessed in Microsoft’s Azure data center in the United States. By signing up and signing into this site, you consent to the storage and access of this information as outlined above. The effective date of consent is today’s date. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the BCFSA Privacy Officer.”

  • All IRIA portal users are manually vetted and confirmed by a BCFSA IRIS Analyst to ensure appropriate access to the portal.

    Infrastructure security is ensured using Microsoft Azure. Data is encrypted both in transit (e.g., https) and at rest when required (e.g., login credentials in Azure B2C). 

    Security is also applied to interfaces (e.g., prevention of certain attacks between BCFSA website and IRIS).

FAQs for Mortgage Brokers

  • Having submortgage brokers register themselves was included in IRIS in response to previous feedback from mortgage brokerages and has several benefits. For instance, it puts the ownership of disclosure on individual applicants rather than the parent company. It also allows the submortgage broker to pay their own application fees directly, reducing overall administrative effort on behalf of the brokerage.

  • Yes, they will be migrated over from the current mortgage brokers system.

  • Currently there will be no notification, however, this feature will be implemented when Stage 2 of IRIS goes live Spring 2022.

  • In IRIS, the branch is a child of the parent company / head office. So, you will see the branch office connected to the parent or head brokerage office.

  • Submortgage brokers registering their reciprocity will have the ability to upload the statutory declaration with their application.

  • Mortgage Brokers service requests can be submitted on behalf of the individual (e.g. Renew Submortgage Broker) or on behalf of the brokerage (e.g. Add New Branch Office). Most individual submissions need to be approved by the brokerage’s designated individual before they are considered “submitted” to BCFSA. From here, the designated individual of the brokerage must approve. That person will receive an email notification informing them they have an action to approve the submission in IRIS.

FAQs for Financial Institutions

  • In July/August 2021, the primary contact in your organization (usually your CEO, President or CFO) will receive a request to identify an account administrator from your organization, and to send BCFSA their details. Once BCFSA has received this information and set up your administrator, they will be able to add as many users for your organization as they like at any time.

    Your organization can have multiple IRIS Administrators. These Administrators are single access-level accounts and can be added or adjusted via submissions in IRIS.

  • Administrators will have access to the IRIS portal to submit regulatory filings and submissions to BCFSA. Correspondences from IRIS are restricted to the notification of reminders or confirmations of receipt of the related regulatory filings and submissions. 

    Account administrators have access to the Organization’s profile on IRIS which is restricted to the following information:

    • Company Name
    • Trade Name
    • Primary Contact 
    • Phone Number
    • Primary Contact’s Email 
    • Primary Service Address 
    • Primary Mailing Address 
    • Business Authorization Number and Type 
    • Account Administrator’s Name, Phone Number, and Email.

    Anybody who has been granted access, by BCFSA, as an Administrator for an organization can see the draft submissions that have been started for that organization by other IRIS Administrators within that organization. This is by design, to allow a ‘hand-off’ between different people within an organization who may have different responsibilities or inputs into an organization’s submissions.

    Once they have been submitted, however, no one can view or download the documents that formed part of the submission other than BCFSA. Please contact BCFSA if you need to make changes after submission.

  • The designated contacts for most institutions are CEOs/CFOs, so they will receive our initial communication. Once they identify an administrator from your organization, they will be the ones contacted going forward regarding developments related to IRIS.

  • A CEO can also be set up as to receive a copy on all correspondence or notifications related to filings and submissions in IRIS. 

    BCFSA does not use IRIS to send out regulatory advisories or correspondences. These correspondences will be sent out through regular email to the primary contact of each regulated entity.

  • IRIS can be used to upload other ad hoc submissions where no specific set of required documents are indicated, using the “Other Submission” option in IRIS. Examples could include committee meeting minutes and other Board package items. The process for uploading these documents is the same for submitting other standard filings.

  • The submission itself will be visible to all account administrators, however the attachments in the requirement will not be accessible to other account administrators or even the submitter. Essentially, we do not allow users to download attachments once submitted, except for extracted filings.

  • Currently, only one access level is being implemented for IRIS users.

  • When choosing your designated account administrator, please consider the following:

    1. Appropriateness based on access, so the account administrator can perform the following tasks in the IRIS Portal:
      1. View basic information of the financial institution;
      2. View filings and submissions requirements;
      3. Submit filings to BCFSA on behalf of the financial institution; and
      4. Add other individuals as Account Administrators on behalf of the financial institution via requests to BCFSA.
    2. Protocols for managing long-term access to IRIS, including how BCFSA will be notified when changes are made.
    3. How IRIS Portal access credentials and controls will be managed within your financial institution.
  • IRIS went live in September 2021. Credit Unions are able to log into IRIS to view and update company and contact information. In October, you will be able to submit filings for LAR/LCR/NCCF. And in April 2022, you will be able to submit filings for FSR/CAR/RMLR. Please see the information below:

    Credit Unions

    • Sector: Credit Unions (including Central Credit Unions)
    • Filings via current Secure File Transfer Protocols (SFTP):
      • PIRs 
      • LAR, LCR, and NCCF — up to and including the September 2021 filing period
      • CAR and RMLR — up to and including the March 2022 filing period
    • Filings that remain via Credit Union Information System (CUIS): FSR filings — up to and including the March 2022 filing period
    • Filings via IRIS Portal starting with the October 2021 filing period:
      • Liquidity Adequacy Return (“LAR”),
      • Liquidity Coverage Ratio (“LCR”), and
      • Net Cumulative Cash Flow (“NCCF”) filings
    • Filings via IRIS Portal starting with the April 2022 filing period:
      • Financial and Statistical Return (“FSR”),
      • Capital Adequacy Return (“CAR”), and
      • Residential Mortgage Loans Report (“RMLR”)
    • Filings via IRIS Portal starting with the September 2021 filing period: All remaining filings

    Insurance and Trust

    • Sector: Insurance Companies (B.C. and Extraprovincial)
      • Filings and Submissions via Current Protocols: PIRs
      • Filings and Submissions via IRIS Portal starting with the September 2021 filing period: All remaining filings
    • Sector: Captive Insurance Companies
      • Filings and Submissions via Current Protocols: PIRs
      • Filings and Submissions via IRIS Portal starting with the September 2021 filing period: All remaining filings
    • Sector: Reciprocal Exchange for Insurance
      • Filings and Submissions via Current Protocols: PIRs
      • Filings and Submissions via IRIS Portal starting with the September 2021 filing period: Applications for Annual Renewal
    • Sector: Trust Companies (B.C. and Extraprovincial)
      • Filings and Submissions via Current Protocols: PIRs
      • Filings and Submissions via IRIS Portal starting with the September 2021 filing period: All remaining filings
    • Sector: Exempt Trust Companies
      • Filings and Submissions via Current Protocols: PIRs
      • Filings and Submissions via IRIS Portal starting with the September 2021 filing period:
        • All remaining filings
        • Applications for Annual Renewal

    Note: Designating a primary Account Administrator for IRIS is essential because most of your financial institution’s regulatory filings will be submitted via the IRIS Portal as noted in the schedule above.

  • All scheduled submissions will appear on the organization dashboard in IRIS 15 to 90 days before they are due. When new scheduled submissions appear on the dashboard, you will receive an email notification via your preferred email address listed in IRIS, and the number of outstanding submissions is automatically increased. Each time a portal user completes a submission, this removes one outstanding item from the list. Portal users can access the list of submissions in read-only mode.

  • Yes, starting in 2022 credit unions will use IRIS to file all returns with the exception of data calls, which are unusually large files and will continue to be filed via bcfsa-securefile.ca.

  • Yes, IRIS will replace all existing reporting/file upload tools currently used by BCFSA with the exception of data calls, which are unusually large files.

  • Eventually, yes. IRIS’ reporting features are still being developed and will be implemented at a later date. Stay tuned.

  • The process was designed to be similar with the added benefit that IRIS consolidates the filing process and makes it more efficient. Materials that were previously submitted through a variety of methods (i.e. Email, FTP site) will now be submitted through the single IRIS system.

  • Your September 2021 filing will be the first to be submitted through IRIS. Supporting documents for this form can also be submitted through IRIS as attachments.

  • Yes, IRIS is designed to download / upload spreadsheets and scan them for relevant data.

  • Credit Unions can upload certain monitoring documents using the Other Submission option (ad hoc submissions where no specific set of required documents) in IRIS, similar to other filings with basic attachments (e.g., Form 19: Special Resolution or Consent to Alter Credit Union Common bond).

  • These will be featured on this website and will be updated to reflect any changes.