OSFI Opening Statement to Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

Thursday, February 10, 2005, Ottawa – “I am pleased to be here today, as part of the Committee’s study on consumer issues arising in the financial services sector. I want first to outline OSFI’s role in regard to consumer protection – what our mandate from Parliament is and what it is not. I would also like to cover a few other key areas in which Committee members have expressed an interest. A range of details on our operations is available in our Annual Report and our Report on Plans and Priorities, which are tabled in Parliament and available from the OSFI Web site ( www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca).” said Nicholas Le Pan, Superintendent.

In this statement Mr. Le Pan also addressed OSFI’s Accountability Framework , the impact of recent legislative changes (Bill C8 on the creation of new banks, for example), improvements in regulatory efficiency, and private pension plan issues.

With respect to regulatory efficiency, Mr. Le Pan notes: “A joint effort between OSFI and provincial insurance regulators produced a harmonized test for capital adequacy of property and casualty insurance companies. This change, when adopted by the provinces, coupled with other data requirement changes, will result in a reduction of up to one-half the amount of data filed with OSFI by most federal property and casualty insurance companies. A data streamlining initiative with similar results, affecting the life insurance sector, has been finalized between the provinces and ourselves. We are also working on making changes for the banking sector, together with other federal agencies.”

The complete statement (5 pages) is available on the Internet at the OSFI site.