FSCO scrambles amid arbitration file influx

For the increasing number of advisors selling insurance as an investment vehicle, the provincial regulatory agency will conduct another procurement for arbitration services to handle the high volume of new and existing files.

A victim of its own success, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario has increased the monthly assignment of arbitration files to dispute resolution company ADR Chambers by 250 per month, and is actively looking for a new contract with a dispute resolution company.

FSCO - which regulates insurance, pension plans, loan and trust companies, credit unions, mortgage brokering, and co-operative corporations in Ontario - had earlier contracted ADRC to eliminate a backlog of mediation files and to assist with the high volumes of arbitration files back in the fall of 2013. FSCO and ADRC were able to clear a backlog of 30,000 mediation files, several years ahead of projects.

“We correctly anticipated that, as the mediation backlog was cleared, an increased demand would develop in arbitration,” says Kristen Rose, a spokesperson for FSCO. “FSCO is increasing the arbitration monthly file assignments to ADR Chambers due to the high volume of files.”

As a result, FSCO will be increasing the monthly assignment of arbitration files to ADR from 500 to 750 files per month, beginning this month. (Continued on Page 2)


FSCO will be conducting another procurement for arbitration services so that it can handle the high volume of arbitration files already in the system (currently over 15,000) and those that continue to be received. “FSCO is required to comply with Ontario Public Service procurement directives and issue an RFP in order to ensure a fair and transparent process,” says Rose.

FSCO has issued a Request for Proposal for arbitration services that has been posted on MERXTM, the electronic tendering system used by the Province of Ontario. An independent Fairness Commissioner is being retained to monitor the procurement process.

A spokesperson for ADR Chambers told Insurance Business that they anticipate putting forth a bid for this new contract.

FSCO expects to have the contract in place by June. Once a new contract is in place, files will no longer be assigned under the current contract.