The Ontario Securities Commission has laid out its priorities for 2019-20, which focus on promoting confidence in Ontario’s capital markets and reducing regulatory burden.

In terms of confidence building, the commission said it intends to continue consulting on client-focused reforms and on the Canadian Securities Administrators’ policy consultations on mutual fund embedded commissions; improve the retail investor experience; expand systemic risk oversight with respect to derivatives; take timely and impactful enforcement actions; enhance economically focused rule-making; and support the transition to a co-operative capital markets regulatory system.

In expanding the derivatives oversight system, the OSC outlined specific actions it intends to perform, such as publishing a proposed business conduct rule, developing a registrant regulation framework and creating a compliance review program for the market.

In its aim to reduce regulatory burdens, the OSC said it intends to redevelop of its website and engage with stakeholders on opportunities on regulatory issues. It also noted a current push to reduce the regulatory burden on Ontario businesses, and said it intends to re-examine the current rules and systems in place in an attempt to uncover opportunities to streamline regulation.

“Together with reducing red tape, the OSC is looking at ways to improve the investor experience, by seeking to modernize the information provided to investors or other interactions that investors have with issuers and registrants,” the report said. “The OSC continues to seek opportunities to make its interface with market participants easier and less costly, including the implementation of electronic solutions to make submission of data easier for market participants.”
Further, the OSC said it intends to facilitate financial innovation, specifically by engaging with the financial technology and startup sectors, establishing the Office for Economic Growth and Innovation and implementing an alternative funds regime.

The OSC also highlighted several factors within the current economic environment that could have a bearing on its ongoing policy decisions. It will continue to monitor globalization, especially with the strained nature of geopolitical affairs, with a tense atmosphere created by ongoing events like Brexit and decisions by the U.S. administration around trade. Also, technology is an evolving factor the OSC will continue to monitor, as new risks and opportunities emerge from its use in the financial sector.