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A draft statement of priorities and budget published last month by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) was highlighted in a newsletter published on Wednesday.

The draft statement builds on targets in the financial services regulator’s 2019-22 business plan, such as protecting consumers, reducing regulatory burden and increasing regulatory effectiveness.

The regulator’s sector-specific priorities listed in the draft statement include enhanced conduct oversight and improved licensing effectiveness within life and health insurance; support for pension plan flexibility and a review of the prudential framework for pensions; and the development of processes for the approval and supervision of credentialing bodies associated with title regulation for financial planners and advisors.

In a newsletter published on Wednesday, Toronto-based Morneau Shepell, provider of pension administration technology and services, highlighted the draft priorities related to pensions, saying that Ontario pension plan administrators will be interested to follow FSRA’s progress on pension oversight and reducing regulatory burdens on plan administrators.

Title regulation priorities

FSRA’s draft statement also said the regulator has been working with Ontario’s finance department to design the framework for title protection.

Ontario passed the Financial Professionals Title Regulation Act in May 2019 as a first step toward regulating the titles “financial planner” and “financial advisor.”

By year-end, FSRA will have consulted with stakeholders and drafted rules for the regulation’s framework, the draft statement said, which will include a process to approve credentialing bodies.

In 2020-21, FSRA aims to post rules for public consultation on the proposed framework, the draft statement said. Factors affecting the framework’s implementation include government direction regarding details and timing, and approval by the province’s minister of finance, it said.

It also noted that FSRA will have authority to conduct examinations and issue compliance orders against credentialing bodies for breaches of the act, as well as to “take action” against non-credentialed planners and advisors who use the regulated titles.

FSRA estimates it will cost $200,000 to implement the regulation. Once regulation is in place, these costs will be recovered, it said.

For full details, read FSRA’s draft 2020-21 statement of priorities and budget.