High Approval Ratings for Federal Financial Regulator: OSFI Industry Consultation Findings Released

OTTAWA April 12, 2005 – The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has released the results of a recent consultation process conducted with the financial institutions it regulates.

The findings show a strong overall satisfaction with OSFI as the principal regulator and supervisor of Canada�s financial services sector with 92% of respondents indicating they are satisfied with OSFI�s performance, an increase from 89 per cent in 2002.

�In keeping with our commitment to continuous improvement, OSFI conducts regular consultations with industry to identify what we are doing well and areas for improvement,� says Nicholas Le Pan, Superintendent of Financial Institutions. �OSFI makes the consultation findings available as part of our commitment to accountability and transparency.�

Some other key findings:

  • OSFI has improved its ability to communicate expectations to the financial institutions, showing greater openness to enter into dialogue in the Supervision and Approvals processes

  • The Supervisory Framework (introduced in 1999) is perceived by 75% of respondents to have had a positive impact on the effectiveness of OSFI�s monitoring and examinations processes.

  • OSFI receives strong ratings for its contribution to public confidence in the financial industry based on the absence of failures in the recent past.

  • There has been a significant and steady increase in the perceptions that OSFI has become more decisive in its interventions; and OSFI�s treatment of struggling companies is �just about right�.

On the international front, OSFI has gained visibility from being actively involved in international working groups, raising its profile and that of Canada�s within other regulatory agencies.

Some of the challenges identified in the consultations include the need for further improvements in the level of staff knowledge and expertise and greater consultation with industry on international accords.

�While we are naturally pleased with these results, we are also very mindful of some of the areas for improvement that were identified,� adds Mr. Le Pan. �We are in the process of addressing these issues and will continue to work closely with the institutions we regulate.�

The consultations, conducted by The Strategic Counsel on behalf of OSFI, consisted of interviews with senior financial sector executives and professionals who act on behalf of financial institutions. CEOs, CFOs, Chief Internal Auditors, Chief Risk Officers, external actuaries, and external auditors were the target respondents of this consultation.

As the primary regulator of federal financial institutions and federally administered pension plans, OSFI protects the rights and interests of depositors, policyholders, and pension-plan members. It does this by advancing and administering a regulatory framework that contributes to public confidence in a competitive financial system.

A detailed overview of the findings can be accessed here: http://www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca/osfi/index_e.aspx?ArticleID=625

For more information about OSFI, visit www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca