The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is inviting eligible innovative Ontario businesses to apply to participate in a pilot project to test financial products, services and business models across international borders. The project is an initiative of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), which consists of 29 organizations, including the OSC, committed to supporting financial innovation.
“Participating in this initiative reflects our ongoing commitment to support novel firms seeking to operate globally, and makes Ontario an attractive choice for foreign businesses looking to enter new markets,” said Maureen Jensen, Chair and CEO of the OSC.
The pilot project will allow firms to simultaneously trial and scale their products or services in multiple jurisdictions, and gain real-time insights into how they might operate in these markets. Ontario firms interested in taking part in the pilot should review the list of participating regulators, and submit an application to the jurisdictions in which they would like to test by February 28, 2019. Application requirements may vary by jurisdiction.
The trials will also provide a more efficient way for innovative firms to interact with regulators across the world, and help inform the GFIN’s future work.
Following a 2018 consultation on its functions and key focus areas, the GFIN has finalised terms of reference for the governance and membership of the group. More about the GFIN, member organisations and list of regulators supporting the pilot project can be found here.
The OSC’s participation in the GFIN pilot project builds on its work since 2016 to modernize regulation to support businesses that provide innovative services, products and applications of benefit to investors. This includes establishing OSC LaunchPad, a dedicated team to help fintech businesses navigate securities law. OSC LaunchPad’s work includes providing extensive support to early-stage companies seeking guidance, connecting firms with operational branches at the OSC, and granting time-limited exemptive relief to firms when appropriate. Since inception, the team has worked with over 200 businesses, the CSA Regulatory Sandbox and international regulators to create a more flexible environment for Ontario firms.
The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca.