123RF

British Columbia is launching its planned reforms to provincial regulation of the financial services sector.

The B.C. government said today that it is introducing legislation to establish the B.C. financial services authority as an independent Crown agency, replacing the Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM) to regulate credit unions, insurance and trust companies, pensions and mortgage brokers.

“The financial services sector is rapidly evolving. This legislation will make sure B.C.’s financial services regulator is modern, effective and efficient for decades to come,” said Carole James, the provincial Minister of Finance.

The government says that the proposed legislation is designed to improve accountability and oversight in the sector, and to align with international best practices.

The new authority, which will be accountable to the finance minister, will be managed by a board of directors that will appoint a CEO. It’s expected to launch later this year.

FICOM will continue as the provincial regulator until the new agency is up and running.