IRIS Frequently Asked Questions

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General

Using the System

  • Yes, you can see the status of your submissions in your personal or organization’s dashboard.

  • Yes, IRIS allows you to continue your application or submission from where you last left off. You can click ‘Save & Next’ 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.

    Note that a draft submission will be automatically deleted after 90 days if not submitted.

  • After you click ‘submit’, all files are locked as received by BCFSA and cannot be downloaded. Contact BCFSA if you need to make a change after you have completed your submission.

  • If you have not yet clicked ‘submit’, you can go back to where you left off and make the necessary changes. IRIS has been designed with some basic data validations to help ensure submissions contain complete and correct information. Once submitted, however, you will need to contact BCFSA to make changes or corrections.

  • IRIS will accept payments up to $6000 submitted in the portal using a credit card.

    Financial institutions have the out-of-portal payment option for payments over this amount.

  • 50MB. If your file exceeds the allowable size, you can either resize the image or scan at a lower resolution, or if it is a multi-page document, split it into separate files.

  • No. Files with embedded objects, such as images, charts, etc. and files with external links are not supported for submission in IRIS. Specifically for credit union or trust template filings, embedded objects and external links slow down the data extraction process and may prevent successful submission.

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

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

    For financial institutions approvals support, please contact [email protected]

    For mortgage brokers support, please contact [email protected]

    For real estate licensee support, please contact [email protected]

  • You should have received renewal reminders a few weeks prior to your licence expiry. We encourage you to complete your renewal promptly in the current real estate portal before the blackout period begins. Ensure your managing broker is aware of the urgency.

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.”

  • IRIS Infrastructure security is ensured using Microsoft Azure, and 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).

    In addition, when a portal user makes a submission and/or requests additional access, they will be manually vetted and confirmed by a BCFSA analyst to ensure appropriate access to the portal.

  • When you sign into your online accounts — a process we call “authentication” — you’re proving that you are who you say you are. Traditionally that’s been done with a username and a password. Unfortunately, that’s not a very good way to do it anymore. Usernames are often easy to discover; sometimes they’re just your email address. Since passwords can be hard to remember, people tend to pick simple ones, or use the same password at many different sites.

    That’s why almost all online services - banks, social media, shopping and now IRIS too — have added a way for your accounts to be more secure. You may hear it called “Two-Step Verification” or “Multifactor Authentication”, which asks you to confirm your identity through two methods.

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (“MFA”) will enhance the security of your IRIS account and make it more difficult to be hacked.

  • All IRIS users will be impacted by MFA. This includes users in the mortgage segment and financial institutions.

    When the real estate segment starts using IRIS, licensees will also need to set up their phones for MFA when creating their IRIS accounts.

  • On your next log-in after MFA goes live, you will be asked to provide your phone number after you enter your password. An authentication code will be sent to the phone number you provided, either by text or call, and you will need to input the code before you can be logged in.

    If you are new to IRIS, you will be required to set up MFA when you create your account, after you set your password.

  • You may be asked to re-authenticate on subsequent log-ins if the system detects what it considers to be suspicious behaviour. Authentication is easy and takes less than a minute.

  • You do not need a smartphone to receive the authentication code. You can choose to receive the code through a phone call on your home or office phone.

  • You cannot access IRIS without your phone. If you cannot retrieve your phone and have an urgent need to log in to IRIS, you may contact [email protected] for assistance.

  • Yes, you will need to contact [email protected] to change your registered MFA phone number.

  • You should be concerned if you receive a code you did not request. In this instance, please contact [email protected].

  • No, you should never share your authentication code and BCFSA will never ask you for it.

  • You can contact [email protected] if you encounter any technical issues with MFA.

FAQs for Real Estate Licensees

  • The first time you use IRIS, you will need to create an account using the email address BCFSA has on file for you – this is the email address where you receive your renewal notification and other communications from BCFSA, and it will be included in reminders

    To start, you will need to access IRIS, then follow the step-by-step guide on how to create an account.

  • It is important that you use the registered email to create your account in IRIS. This enables the smooth transfer of your licensing information from the previous licensee portal to IRIS. You cannot successfully use IRIS without this correct email.

  • If you have multiple emails, check all of them to find out which one receives BCFSA communications. If you are still unsure, send an email to [email protected] Once you have your correct email address, you can complete the sign-up process to start using IRIS. Do not use a different email address.

  • Yes. Once IRIS is live on January 9, you can create your account at any time. 

  • The self-serve functionality of IRIS makes it easy for licensees to update their email or phone number. When you have created your new account, simply go to your profile page in the portal to update. 

  • There are more self-service options available in IRIS. Licensees can renew their licence, check the status of an application, submit documentation, pay fees, and check out their course history.

  • To transfer your licence, log in to your profile, click on “new submission” and select the ‘Application for Licence Transfer’ service request.

    You can view this step-by-step guide on the BCFSA website. 

  • Yes, Managing Brokers must review and approve all individual application submissions including your licence renewal and confirm that continuing education requirements have been completed.

    When you submit your application in IRIS, your Managing Broker will receive an email notification to view and approve it.

  • Personal submissions (applications, renewals, transfers, etc.) can be viewed under the “Personal Dashboard”. Also, you will receive a notification when your application has been approved.

    Managing Brokers can view licensee submissions on the “Organization Dashboard.”

  • The courses you have taken can be viewed in the IRIS portal under Business Authorization — Education History.

    Please review BCFSA’s continuing education for your required courses

  • No, you do not need to set up another account. You may use the same email address.

  • The previous licensee portal will no longer be available. To obtain past receipts, please email [email protected].

FAQs for Mortgage Brokers

  • Allowing submortgage brokers to create their account and manage their registration in IRIS was in response to previous feedback from mortgage brokers 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, submortage brokers’ information will be migrated to IRIS. However, to access your information in IRIS, you will need to create an account using the email address BCFSA has on file for you – this is the email address where renewal notification and other communications from BCFSA is received. Instructions on how to create an account will be included in the renewal reminder email.

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

  • 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. For more information on reciprocity, visit the Mortgage Brokers FAQs page.

  • 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. The designated individual will receive an email notifying them that they have a submission to approve in IRIS.

FAQs for Financial Institutions

  • Financial institutions can have multiple account administrators in IRIS. An account administrator can submit a request through IRIS for other users be added as account administrators.

  • Account administrators will have access to the IRIS portal to submit regulatory filings and submissions to BCFSA. Correspondence from IRIS is restricted to 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; and
    • Account administrators for credit unions also have access to: Report Viewer’s Name, Phone Number, and Email; and Information sharing relationships with other credit unions.

    Anybody who has been granted access by BCFSA as an account administrator for an organization can see the draft submissions that have been started for that organization by other account 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.

  • A CEO can be set up as an account administrator to receive a copy of all correspondence or notifications related to filings and submissions in IRIS.

    BCFSA does not use IRIS to send regulatory advisories. These will be sent via 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.

    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 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:

    (a) Appropriateness based on access, so the account administrator can perform the following tasks in the IRIS Portal:

    View basic information of the financial institution;

    View filings and submissions requirements;

    Submit filings to BCFSA on behalf of the financial institution; and

    Add other individuals as account administrators on behalf of the financial institution via requests to BCFSA.

    (b) Protocols for managing long-term access to IRIS, including how BCFSA will be notified when changes are made.

    (c) How IRIS Portal access credentials and controls will be managed within your financial institution.

  • 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.

  • An account administrator can manage notifications by setting up forwarding email notifications to a single email address for your organization. Notifications relating to submissions that an account administrator has made will continue to be sent to the account administrator who submitted them.

FAQs for Credit Unions

  • IRIS will replace most reporting/file upload tools currently used by BCFSA. Personal Information Returns (“PIRs”) will continue to be filed through the Secure File Transfer Protocol (“SFTP”).

    Credit unions will use IRIS to submit responses to all ad-hoc reports or data calls and BCFSA will specify the service request to submit under in the initial communication.

    If you are unsure, please check with your relationship manager.

  • The Comparative Analysis Report, Credit Union Comparison, and the Summary Trend Analysis Report have been replaced by Credit Union Performance (CUP) Report accessed through IRIS.

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

  • Yes. System Capital numbers are posted on your credit union’s Organization Dashboard each month. System Capital will need to be entered into the CAR template.

  • Yes, the last 10 years of FSR and CAR will be on the new Credit Union Performance (CUP) Report.

  • Yes, notifications of successful submissions will go to the person who filed the submission.

  • A credit union will need to create a separate information sharing relationship in IRIS for each credit union they want to share their report information with. To understand how to create an information sharing relationship, please watch this video.

  • Yes. The self-serve functionality in IRIS means that each credit union is responsible for managing report information sharing between itself and other credit unions.

    Each credit union decides which other BC credit unions they want to share with and initiates this sharing in IRIS. Please refer to the instructions in your credit union’s Organization Profile.

  • No. Please refer to your Organization Profile to see the list of information sharing relationships granted or received by your organization.

  • There is a +-$5 error margin added to certain validation rules to address the rounding issues.

  • To see the CUP Report, you need to have report viewer access. The account administrator for your organization can request report viewer access for you. Once you have report viewer access, click on the Reporting tab to view your organization’s CUP Report.

    For detailed instructions, please refer to these instructional videos:

  • The credit unions that wish to share their CUP Report with you will need to create a separate information sharing relationship in IRIS for your credit union. If you have report viewer access, you will be able to see the shared CUP Report the day after the information sharing relationship is created.

  • The Credit Union Performance (“CUP”) Report replaces the Comparative Analysis Report, Credit Union Comparison, and Summary Trend Analysis Report in the Credit Union Information System (“CUIS”). CUIS functionality has transitioned to IRIS.

    For detailed instructions on the CUP Report, please refer to the instructional video Access the Credit Union Performance (“CUP”) Report.

  • Credit unions required to file their CAR quarterly will only see data in the Capital page at quarter ends (March, June, September, December). This is different from previous report (Comparative Analysis Report) where you can see the capital adequacy ratio every month. The previous report was based on the data in the monthly FSR. With recent changes in the FSR and CAR, the data used to calculate the Capital Adequacy Ratio is only in the CAR filing.

    Please refer to the Credit Union Filing Requirements | BCFSA page for more information.

  • To correct a filing in IRIS, you need to submit an amended filing. Please find the Amend type Submission Requests (SRs) in IRIS under the “New Submissions” tab.

    Example 1: to amend the notice of Annual General Meeting and Special Resolution, select the Amendment – Annual type in the New Submission tab.

    Example 2: to amend the FSR quarter-end template filings you need to use the Amend FSR — Quarterly SRs and for other months the Amend FSR — Monthly SRs. Similarly, to resubmit the annual FSR you need the Amend FSR — Annual SRs.