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With the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) preparing to take oversight of the syndicated mortgage investment sector early next year, it’s advising firms that operate in that space to apply for registration as soon as possible.

The OSC is slated to take over responsibility for syndicated mortgage investments (SMIs) from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) as of March 1, 2021.

Ahead of that deadline, the OSC is calling on firms that will need to be registered with the commission to apply as soon as possible.

“Any further delay will increase the possibility that the OSC may not be able to complete the registration process,” by deadline, it said.

Firms that aren’t registered when the OSC takes responsibility for the sector would have to cease dealing in SMIs until their registration is granted.

The OSC said it typically takes 90 working days to process straightforward registration applications, with more complicated, novel or incomplete applications taking longer.

Ahead of the transfer of power to the OSC, FSRA also published its own update on SMI oversight.

The agency reported it’s using required SMI filings to ensure that investors are getting enhanced disclosure, and “to identify and deter unacceptable disclosures, ideally before investments are completed.”

FSRA will retain oversight of certain SMI transactions after March 1, and has completed a consultation on its proposed approach for supervising mortgage brokerages and administrators for transactions that remain under its supervision after the transfer.