The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) last week released its final statement of priorities, in which it declared its commitment to support the Ontario government’s priorities to make the province “Open for Business” and “Build more Efficient Regulators.”
Referring to the province’s Five-Point Plan, the OSC underscored reducing regulatory burdens as one of its major planning themes to foster confidence in Ontario’s capital markets.
“The OSC is re-examining its rules and processes to ensure they are appropriate, necessary and with its CSA partners has identified and is pursuing opportunities to reduce undue burdens and streamline regulation without impeding the ability of the OSC to fulfill its responsibility to protect investors,” the watchdog said, in line with discussions of loosened leashes from other regulatory groups.
Following a recommendation by its Burden Reduction Task Force, the OSC announced the revocation of Approval 81-901 Mutual Fund Trusts: Approval of Trustees Under Clause 213(3)(b) of the Loan and Trust Corporations Act, effectively eliminating a requirement for investment fund managers of pooled funds to apply for approval to act as trustees. As registrants, investments fund managers can act as trustees and already work under a securities regulatory framework to safeguard the assets of pooled funds, the OSC explained.
“We are pleased to eliminate this approval process, which will spare investment fund managers from having to complete and file time-consuming and duplicative paperwork to the OSC,” said OSC Director of Investment Funds and Structured Products Raymond Chan.
Aside from reducing red tape, the OSC said it is exploring ways to modernize the interactions investors have with issuers and registrants, which includes information on financial products and services. Also eyed is the implementation of electronic solutions, which promise to let market participants submit data more easily to the OSC.
Referring to the Ontario government’s plans to facilitate greater economic growth through innovation in the province’s capital markets, the OSC said it would offer support through various initiatives, including the establishment of the Office of Economic Growth and innovation. Fintech businesses seeking to enter the Canadian market could also expect help from the regulator’s ongoing work in the OSC LaunchPad, as well as the CSA Regulatory Sandbox and the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN).
Aside from investing in technology, infrastructure, and expertise to allow for more data-driven regulation, the OSC said it will support Ontario’s Minister of Finance in furthering the implementation of the Cooperative Capital Markets Regulator (CCMR). The CCMR, the OSC said, would make capital markets in Canada, stronger, more efficient, and more globally competitive, as well as offer better investor protection from financial system risk and misconduct. Ontario businesses, the regulator added, could expect more streamlined requirements associated with the raising of capital.
“The OSC will support the proposed transition to CCMR by committing resources to support workstream activities to develop effective legislation, regulations and efficient regulatory oversight processes and support implementation of the CCMR as a streamlined capital markets regulatory system,” the regulator said.
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