The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) has published a new strategic plan, highlighting an increased focus on consumer protection, and indicating that it intends to examine the potential for regulatory arbitrage in the segregated funds business, among other things.

The Strategic Plan 2014-2017 outlines the CCIR’s three top strategic priorities: aligning supervision with international best practices to enhance consumer protection; working collaboratively with other regulators; and partnering with industry stakeholders to identify opportunities to reduce inter-jurisdictional barriers.

Among the initiatives that it intends to carry out to advance those objectives, the CCIR says that it will “review the regulatory landscape and assess potential regulatory arbitrage” in the seg funds area.

It also intends to focus on improving financial literacy, work with pension regulators, policymakers, and others to develop a common understanding of longevity risk transfer markets in Canada, and, to review property insurance policy disclosure issues relating to natural disaster coverage. Disclosure in the provision of travel insurance will also be examined, and it aims to review and address issues arising from the evolving use of technology and electronic commerce.

“This strategic plan reflects the latest round of evolution in market conduct supervision and regulation,” says Carolyn Rogers, chair of the CCIR, in the foreword to the plan. “This evolution has been brought about both through increasing expectations by consumers around the protection they receive and through a heightened awareness of the importance to the stability of the financial system of proactively protecting consumers from unfair or abusive business practices … this renewed interest in fair treatment of consumers and recent changes to international supervisory standards have caused us to revisit what we do, how we work together, and what we expect from CCIR.”

“We have a lot of work to do, but, taken altogether, we are confident that we will be building a better regulatory system that is more closely harmonized and better meets the needs of all our stakeholders,” Rogers concludes.