OSFI Overview of the Property and Casualty Sector Consultation Findings

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Overview of the Property and Casualty Sector Consultation Findings

September, 2009 – Since 1998, OSFI has commissioned regular consultations with key stakeholders of financial institutions to assess its effectiveness and fulfill its commitment to continuous improvement.

In late 2008, OSFI commissioned The Strategic Counsel, an independent research firm, to conduct a confidential consultation with property and casualty insurance institutions, to explore perceptions of the current property and casualty insurance marketplace and of OSFI in general.

The Property and Casualty Sector Consultation comprised a series of confidential one-on-one interviews with executives and professionals representing a cross-section of the property and casualty insurance institutions regulated by OSFI.

The final sample of participants was selected and interviewed by The Strategic Counsel independently of OSFI. The report presents the responses in summary form. OSFI does not know what specific organizations said, nor does it have access to interview notes.

Despite challenging times as a result of the economic downturn, overall impressions of OSFI are positive in most areas. Some of the key findings from the study are:

  • Overall, the property and casualty industry is highly satisfied with OSFI as the principal regulator and supervisor of Canada�s financial services industry.
  • Participants gave high ratings to the professionalism of OSFI�s staff, and to their willingness to provide an opportunity for institutions to discuss issues of concern.
  • OSFI�s guidance provides a clear indication of the regulator�s expectations.
  • OSFI is seen to be focused on the appropriate areas of risk in the property and casualty insurance sector, and to be proactive in dealing with emerging issues.

While OSFI is generally perceived to be effective in the overall discharge of its mandate, some areas for improvement were identified. Some of the areas that received relatively less positive ratings include: staff knowledge of reinsurance; timeliness of OSFI�s written supervisory reports; satisfaction that institutions� views concerning regulations and guidance relevant to Part 13 � Foreign companies � of the Insurance Companies Act were heard; and effectiveness of OSFI�s communication of international activities.

OSFI appreciates the feedback provided in this consultation and has developed an action plan to address a number of the areas identified for improvement. This includes: enhancing reinsurance expertise through training; allocating more time for the preparation of written supervisory reports; making detailed information concerning Part XIII of the Insurance Companies Act available to stakeholders; and including content about international activities in OSFI�s industry communications. Future consultations will monitor OSFI�s overall effectiveness and its progress in addressing areas for improvement.

Created in 1987 by an Act of Parliament, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is the primary regulator and supervisor of federally regulated deposit-taking institutions, insurance companies, and federally regulated private pension plans. OSFI�s mandate is to advance and administer a regulatory framework that contributes to public confidence in a strong, stable and competitive financial system.

Property and Casualty Sector Consultation Findings

About OSFI

OSFI is an independent agency of the Government of Canada. It reports to the Minister of Finance. For more information visit www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca.