While not directly impacting all registrants, it is interesting to note that the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (the FCAC) is consulting on the Proposed Guideline on Whistleblowing Policies and Procedures for Banks and Authorized Foreign Banks which sets out its expectations for the new provisions of the Bank Act (Canada) regarding an employee’s ability to report on wrongdoings (defined in the Act to include a breach of the Act or an internal policy, for example). The agency expects that a bank’s policies should be effective, easy to access, understand and use, and protect employees from retaliation. The FCAC notes policies should include an organizational commitment to encourage reporting, and banks should be able to demonstrate they are allocating sufficient resources (including employee training) on this aspect of the banks’ policies. Employees should be made aware of resources available to them to support them in reporting, including confidential advice from an appointed senior officer or an external, independent body. Employees should also be made aware that they can report instead directly to the FCAC or OSFI (or any other governmental body with jurisdiction). We will follow the outcome of the proposals with interest; the comment period closed on January 29.

January 31, 2022