Remarks by Superintendent Julie Dickson, OSFI, to the Financial Services Institute

Toronto, Ontario, Thursday, June 26, 2008 — Today I want to talk about the two things that have struck me the most over the past year: the strength of Canada’s regulatory and banking brand, and the understanding of OSFI’s mandate.

A strong banking system is a critical element of a strong national economy. And internationally, the reputation of a country’s financial system is largely based on the soundness of its banks, because banks — and their interactions with one another — are at the core of the global financial system.

The Canadian regulatory brand is also extremely strong internationally. OSFI has played leading roles on the Basel Committee and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

There has been considerable discussion of OSFI’s mandate in recent months – whether we met it and even whether it is appropriately cast. What is OSFI’s mandate as it pertains to financial institutions?

Under our legislation, OSFI’s mandate is to:

  • Supervise federally regulated financial institutions to determine whether they are in sound financial condition and are complying with their governing law and supervisory requirements;
  • Promptly advise institutions in the event there are material deficiencies and take, or require management and boards to take, necessary corrective measures expeditiously;
  • Advance and administer a regulatory framework that promotes the adoption of policies and procedures designed to control and manage risk; – Monitor and evaluate system-wide or sectoral issues that may impact institutions negatively.

Further, our Act says that, in doing all of this, the Office shall strive to protect the rights and interests of depositors, policyholders and creditors of financial institutions, having due regard to the need to allow institutions to compete effectively and take reasonable risks.

For full text of the remarks, see Remarks

OSFI is an independent agency of the Government of Canada. It reports to the Minister of Finance. For more information visit