The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario is seeking feedback on proposed guidance detailing how and when it publishes information about enforcement proceedings and investigations, including those related to pension plans and administrators.
According to the draft guidance, this includes the use of news releases and public postings of enforcement actions on the FSRA’s website to communicate notices of proposals, notices of intended decisions, final orders and minutes of settlement. “Our proposed approach will provide greater access to information about who and what type of conduct is being sanctioned. As a result, the public, industry and other regulators can be better informed.”
For the pension sector, the FSRA said it will issue a notice of its intended decision when addressing instances of a pension plan’s regulatory misconduct and non-compliance with regulatory requirements. This includes situations such as refusing or revoking plan registration, requiring a plan administrator to return assets to a plan or return contributions to a plan member, imposing general administrative penalties and ordering plans to take actions such as meetings.
And while the FSRA doesn’t normally disclose information pertaining to its investigations, the draft guidance said it may notify the general public or specific sector participants of the existence and nature of an investigation in certain circumstances.
These include situations where the need to protect consumers outweighs the usual reasons for non-disclosure; if the investigation relates to conduct or issues that are substantially in the public domain and there are credible allegations; and if the subject of an investigation has publicly disclosed information about the investigation and the FSRA believes it’s necessary to correct the public record.
The consultation period will run from Aug. 10 to Sept. 24, 2021.