three businessmen sitting at a table negotiating and signing a contract. handskake. mediation concept, dispute resolution

The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) has modified its terms of reference but is still waiting for regulators to take action on the more meaningful reforms that have been recommended for the agency.

The OBSI board has approved changes to the terms of reference (TORs) of the industry dispute resolution service, updating the foundational document that sets out OBSI’s mandate, powers, duties and process.

The revised TORs “have been modernized to ensure they are current, clear and easy to use,” OBSI said in a release published Tuesday.

Although the changes aim to freshen up OBSI’s mandate, they do not deal with some of the more substantive issues that were raised in its most recent independent review, which recommended, among other things, that OBSI be given the power to make binding compensation decisions.

These sorts of changes would have to be an initiative of the regulators that oversee OBSI — the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the industry self-regulatory organizations.

Alongside the revised TORs, OBSI has also published a summary of the comments it received during the public consultation process, and its responses to those comments, which underscores the fact that the TORs revisions do not involve major reforms.

For example, one commenter suggested that OBSI add binding authority to its TORs. “We appreciate this feedback and we agree with the recommendation that OBSI be given binding authority for our CSA mandate but that is beyond the scope of this project,” OBSI says in its response.

Similarly, commenters called for OBSI to increase the $350,000 limit on compensation recommendations. “Changes to our monetary limits would be a substantive change and it is out of scope for this project,” OBSI replies.

OBSI adds that it’s considering how to be more transparent with its systemic issues reports. “This topic is, however, out of scope for this project,” it says.

The revised TORs and a summary of comements are available on the OBSI website.