The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) recently released its annual business plan for its 2023-2026 activities (the Business Plan). The Business Plan includes reference to FSRA’s 2023-2024 statement of priorities which was the subject of a consultation last fall (and described in our bulletin here), and stakeholder feedback was incorporated into the Business Plan.

The Business Plan references four overall priorities: strengthen consumer focus, modernize systems and processes, enable innovation and enhance FSRA’s talent management framework and strategy. Our brief summary below describes FSRA’s specific priorities as they impact the mortgage brokerage sector and financial planners and financial advisors under FSRA’s Financial Professionals Title Protection Framework.

With respect to the mortgage industry, the Business Plan notes that in the fiscal year 2021-22, FSRA regulated approximately 1,240 mortgage brokerages, 3,000 mortgage brokers, 16,000 mortgage agents and 240 mortgage administrators in Ontario. In connection with its plan to continue to promote high standards of governance and business conduct, FSRA intends to consult on best practices to improve the effectiveness of the principal broker’s role in contributing to a strong business conduct culture and ensuring the fair treatment of consumers. It is also FSRA’s intention to develop a supervisory engagement model for mortgage brokerages and administrators whose conduct has the most impact on consumers and the industry’s reputation, to allow for more effective allocation of supervision resources. FSRA will also continue its work with respect to individual proficiencies, by updating the broker and agent licensing education courses, enhance continuous education requirements and consult on best practices for the suitability of mortgage recommendations for consumers. The latter consultation, in particular, is aimed at ensuring consumers receive mortgage advice that is suitable to their specific circumstances and needs.

Under the Financial Professionals Title Protection Framework, as of the date of this publication, FSRA has approved four credentialing bodies and nine credentials. To meet the priority of ensuring the effectiveness of the framework for financial planners/financial advisors, FSRA intends to, among other things, assess credentialing bodies to ensure that they meet minimum standards, appropriately share information, communicate requirements with credential holders, and have the necessary policies and procedures in place to protect consumers. Staff will also work with the Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders to identify and implement any required changes to rules or legislation to enhance national harmonization of the framework.

May 31, 2023