Staff for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) either met or exceeded 86% of their service targets in the first quarter of the regulator’s 2021–22 fiscal year.
In its latest service standards scorecard — the third such scorecard to be published — FSRA said there are 22 service standards that are put to the test each quarter. They were developed based on factors such as customer-service principles and the need to ensure timely review processes by FSRA, and cover five segments overall: auto, credit union, pensions, market conduct and public affairs areas.
While results were strong in the auto/insurance products and credit union segments, FSRA struggled to meet some standards related to market conduct oversight in particular.
When it came to processing the licensing applications of prospective mortgage brokers and insurance agents, the regulator fell significantly below its standard targets — for example, only 60.2% of individual insurance agent licences were issued in the promised 10 days after forms were complete, below the 80% target, and only 33.9% of individuals seeking such licences were promptly contacted where application suitability issues had to first be addressed, also below the 80% target.
The scorecard noted a “significant increase in the applications received” as well as a pandemic-related backlog, resulting in tough business operations that “challenged FSRA’s ability to deliver against the standards.”
As such, “FSRA is in the process of expanding resource capacity and conducting completeness review of applications,” the document added.
Where the regulator succeeded for market conduct oversight was in its ability to acknowledge complaints received about all sectors — with 96.5% of complaints responded to within three days, compared with a standard target of 90%.
In the pensions segment, the regulator has pledged to improve its review process for defined-benefit plan wind-up applications, where FSRA came in at 84.2% of applications decisions made on time compared with the 90% target.
FSRA’s service levels are reviewed by an internal risk team, in collaboration with its regulatory divisions. When shortfalls occur, the scorecard said, the risk team “works with the divisions to understand the environmental, seasonal and business factors that may have affected service delivery during the quarter. The team then develops a plan to bring the service level up to target.”