OSC Publishes 2019-2020 Statement of Priorities

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today published its 2019-2020 Statement of Priorities, which sets out the 18 priority areas where the OSC intends to focus resources and actions over the coming fiscal year, as well as the expected outcomes.   

The main themes of the 2019-2020 priorities focus on delivering the objectives outlined in the Ontario Government’s Five-Point Capital Markets Plan contained in its April 2019 Budget, supporting its priorities to make Ontario “Open for Business” and to “Build more Efficient Regulators.” Accordingly, the OSC introduced three additional priorities to this year’s Statement of Priorities, including to enhance economically-focused rule-making, to establish the Office of Economic Growth and Innovation and to ensure competitiveness and clear service standards.

The OSC received 16 comment letters on its draft 2019-2020 Statement of Priorities published for comment in March 2019. Feedback was broadly supportive of the new OSC goals and proposed priorities, including widespread support for planned initiatives to reduce regulatory burden. The OSC has established and has in place a Burden Reduction Task Force to support this work. Other comments focused on the necessity for further consultation and decisions related to client-focused reforms and embedded commissions, and the need to consider advisor titles and proficiency standards.

“Our Statement of Priorities for 2019-2020 will guide our efforts to promote confidence in Ontario’s capital markets, reduce regulatory burden, facilitate financial innovation and strengthen our organizational foundation,” said Maureen Jensen, Chair and CEO of the OSC.

The OSC also published its Report on the Statement of Priorities for Fiscal 2018-2019 today, which summarizes the progress made against the priorities set out in the 2018-2019 Statement of Priorities.

Key accomplishments from fiscal 2018-2019 include the award of $7.5 million to three whistleblowers, the conclusion of several cases involving serious misconduct which resulted in significant sanctions, and the completion of compliance reviews on key issues, including referral arrangements, sales practices, short-term trading, high-risk firms, and pre-registration reviews.

Additionally, the OSC participated in the formation of the Global Financial Innovation Network, held multiple public consultations on burden reduction, published new rules related to derivatives and designated benchmarks, and completed a regulatory impact analysis of policy changes proposed last fall related to embedded mutual fund fees, the proposed client focused reforms, and their anticipated benefits and cost. The OSC also implemented an education and outreach strategy for new Canadians, with a focus on older investors, and published four research studies related to investing.

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 here.

Source: Ontario Securities Commission