Financial institutions in Canada are regulated at either the federal or provincial level, or a combination of both. Banks and insurance federally incorporated insurance companies are regulated at the federal level. However securities dealers and provincially incorporated companies are regulated at the provincial level.
Canada's financial regulators are outlined below.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is responsible for enforcing many of the federal laws that protect consumers in their dealings with financial institutions. The FCAC has a responsibility to ensure that federally regulated financial institutions comply with federal consumer protection laws and regulations, and is one of three agencies regulating the activities of financial institutions under federal jurisdiction.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is the regulator in charge of supervising the financial health and stability of federal financial institutions. These include all banks and all federally incorporated or registered insurance companies, trust and loan companies, co-operative credit associations, and fraternal benefit societies.
The OSFI monitors these institutions on an ongoing basis to ensure certain operational requirements are met, such as having sufficient capital resources, liquidity levels and loan loss provisions. The OSFI conducts on-site reviews and uses its supervisory powers to take action in situations of gross breach of rules or in case of practices creating excessive risks.
Provincial and territorial regulators
Every province and territory has one or more bodies to regulate financial institutions under provincial responsibility. These institutions include securities dealers, credit unions and caisses populaires, as well as other financial institutions that are registered or incorporated at the provincial level.
The regulation of the securities industry is a provincial responsibility and each province has its securities commission or administrator that is generally accountable to the Provincial Ministry of Finance. However these provincial regulators participate in an organization called the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA).
The CSA is a forum for the 13 securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories to coordinate and harmonize regulation of the Canadian capital markets. The CSA has a mission to give Canada a securities regulatory system that protects investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices and fosters fair, efficient and vibrant capital markets, through developing the Canadian Securities Regulatory System (CSRS), a national system of harmonized securities regulation, policy and practice.
The CSA has introduced an alphabetical list of disciplined persons for all of Canada. Ontario is not yet participating but is expected to be included in the near future. Consumer/investors can check whether their representatives have been disciplined on this website.
The provincial securities commissions have delegated some of the regulation to self regulatory organizations (SRO) such as the Investment Regulator of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA). The IIROC is responsible for regulating those firms that are members of the Investment Dealers Association (IDA). The MFDA regulates the firms that are members of the MFDA.
The mandate of the regulators is to ensure that the rules and regulations are followed. They are empowered to investigate and to hold hearings, however that power has certain limitations. They do not have the power to order restitution. So if you have a complaint, the regulators can't get your money back. You will need to pursue other options.
Alberta Securities Commission
British Columbia Securities Commission
The Manitoba Securities Commission
Financial and Consumer Services Commission
Newfoundland and Labrador
Office of the Superintendent of Securities,
Northwest Territories Securities Office
Web site: www.justice.gov.nt.ca/SecuritiesRegistry
Nova Scotia Securities Commission
Web site: www.gov.ns.ca/nssc
Nunavut Securities Office
Ontario Securities Commission
Prince Edward Island
The Office of the Superintendent Securities
Tel: (902) 368-4569
Autorité des marchés financiers
Tel: (514) 395-0337 (Montréal)
Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority
Tel: (306) 787-5645 (Regina)
Web site: www.sfsc.gov.sk.ca
Office of the Yukon Superintendent of Securities
Courier: 2130 Second Avenue, 3rd Floor