Investor advocates hail legislation for OBSI binding decisions, $1M fines

FAIR Canada has led the plaudits for Saskatchewan's decision

Investor advocates hail legislation for OBSI binding decisions, $1M fines
Steve Randall

The recent passing of Saskatchewan’s Bill 150, The Securities (Saskatchewan Investors Protection) Amendment Act, 2023, has been praised by investor advocacy organizations.

FAIR Canada, Prosper Canada, Kenmar Associates, and CanAge are among the groups that have hailed provincial lawmakers’ “proactive stance” in giving OBSI binding decisions for investor complaints in the province, something they have been calling for in all provinces and territories.

“For more than 20 years, OBSI has provided investors with access to a fair and impartial recourse mechanism for resolving financial disputes. FAIR Canada and fellow consumer advocate groups have long advocated for binding authority, recognizing its critical role in upholding the integrity of the Canadian financial services market,” the organizations said in their open letter to Bronwyn Eyre, Saskatchewan’s minister of justice and attorney general.

The legislation is also expected to bolster enforcement in the province by enhancing the powers of the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority’s (FCAA) and increase penalties for violations of securities laws from $100,000 to $1 million.

“This landmark legislation represents a significant step forward in protecting the rights and interests of investors across Saskatchewan,” said Jean-Paul Bureaud, FAIR Canada’s Executive Director. “By introducing measures that grant the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) binding authority, the Act ensures that investors have a more robust mechanism for dispute resolution, thereby enhancing the integrity and trust in the financial markets.”

FAIR Canada says it will continue to advocate for OBSI to given binding authority for investment complaint decisions across Canada, as it will do later this year for banking complaints, and move towards “a financial ecosystem that is equitable, transparent, and accountable, ensuring that investors’ rights are always at the forefront of regulatory reforms.”