JRC to look at expanding OBSI’s powers

The regulatory committee that oversees the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) is considering options for enhancing the ombudservice’s powers.

The Joint Regulators Committee (JRC) — which includes representatives from the big four provincial regulators as well as the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada — published its annual report on Thursday that details its oversight of OBSI for the past year.

Specifically, the report says the committee “strongly supports OBSI as the dispute-resolution service and continues to engage in discussions with OBSI, with a view to focusing on options for strengthening its ability to secure redress for investors.”

An independent reviewer recommended, last year that OBSI be given the power to enforce its compensation recommendations rather than simply relying on its existing “name and shame” power.

Furthermore, the JRC indicates that OBSI’s board supports many of the recommendations, including that it be given the power to make binding recommendations.

Separately, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced on Thursday that it intends to respond to the recommendation for added powers at OBSI.

The OSC’s draft statement of priorities for the year ahead says that the regulator, along with the rest of the JRC, intends to, “develop a regulatory response to the recommendations in the independent evaluator’s report, particularly the recommendation for binding decisions.”

Read: OSC to explore ways to reduce regulatory burden

Read: OBSI reports increase in complaints for 2016

Along with these pledges to deal with the recommendation for binding powers, the JRC is continuing to monitor instances of firms refusing OBSI’s compensation recommendations and the size of settlements to “consider patterns and issues raised by them.”

The JRC also indicates that it continues to monitor quarterly reports that it receives from OBSI on complaint and case resolution data along with the flow of firms into and out of OBSI.

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