TORONTO, June 25, 2020 /CNW/ - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) published today its 2020-2021 Statement of Priorities, which sets out 15 priority areas where the OSC intends to focus resources and actions over the coming fiscal year, as well as the expected outcomes.
The priorities align with the OSC's mandate to protect investors and market integrity and its goals for the year ahead to promote confidence in Ontario's capital markets, reduce regulatory burden, facilitate financial innovation, and strengthen the OSC's organizational foundation.
"The underlying focus of our 2020-2021 priorities is on investor protection and on maintaining confidence in fair and efficient capital markets – both prerequisites for economic growth," said Grant Vingoe, Acting Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the OSC. "Coming out of this pandemic, our focus is on the financial security of investors and the ongoing health and functioning of our capital markets."
The OSC invited comment on existing OSC priorities and initiatives in the Notice published on April 30, 2020. The OSC received seven comment letters.
Feedback was generally supportive of the OSC's leadership and proposed direction. These submissions supported the OSC's continued focus on investor protection and commitment to work with our government on modernizing Ontario's capital markets.
Other specific comments included discussion on the OSC's ongoing work on embedded commissions, regulatory burden reduction, service standards, advisor titles and proficiency standards, and initiatives to improve investor protection.
"We value the feedback we received, and which will help guide our efforts as we undertake a more substantive consultation this fall on our 2021-2022 business planning," said Mr. Vingoe. "We will adapt our priorities as necessary to address the effects of the pandemic and in response to our government's ongoing work to modernize Ontario's capital markets."
The OSC is committed to its core regulatory work and will stay flexible in the current environment and market conditions as it responds to the challenges presented by the pandemic.
The OSC also published today its Report on the Statement of Priorities for Fiscal 2019-2020, which summarizes the progress made against the priorities set out in the 2019-2020 Statement of Priorities.
Key accomplishments from fiscal 2019-2020 include the publication of a report setting out more than 100 initiatives to reduce regulatory burden for market participants while maintaining investor protections; and the award of more than half a million dollars through its Whistleblower program to a company outsider who used their industry expertise to identify irregularities.
The OSC published final amendments to implement Client Focused Reforms, announced a ban on trailing commissions for order execution only dealers, and proposed restrictions on the use of the deferred sales charge option for mutual fund dealers.
The OSC continues to support Ontario's Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce. Additionally, the OSC established a new Office of Economic Growth and Innovation and progressed on the redevelopment of a new corporate website scheduled for launch in 2020-2021 with streamlined, accessible content and significantly improved user experience.
The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca.
SOURCE Ontario Securities Commission