OSC makes doing business easier for market participants

OSC | Release | Nov 19, 2019

OSC burden reduction Nov 2019 - OSC makes doing business easier for market participants

 

TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2019 /CNW/ - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is moving forward with more than 100 specific actions to reduce burden for market participants doing business in Ontario's capital markets. As these changes are made, individuals and businesses regulated by the OSC can expect to see enhanced service levels, less duplication and a more tailored regulatory approach.

"The OSC has made major progress in reducing the burden for Ontario's market participants," says the Honourable Rod Phillips, Ontario Minister of Finance. "I want to commend Chair Maureen Jensen and her entire team for moving in short order to streamline regulations without compromising investor protection."

The changes will make it easier to start, fund and grow a business in Ontario, and make Ontario's markets more competitive. While these initiatives will benefit businesses of all sizes, the OSC has carefully considered opportunities to benefit small and medium-sized companies, which make up nearly 70 per cent of those regulated by the OSC, and smaller registrant firms, which make up nearly a third of Ontario registrants.

 


NCFA Advocacy on Burden Reduction:

March 1, 2019: NCFA Submission to the Ontario Securities Commission on Regulatory Burden

NCFA Letter to Ontario Economic Development on Burden (Jan 2019)


"We've taken a good look at our work to see how we can do things better," says Maureen Jensen, Chair and CEO of the OSC.

"Our progress in just under a year shows our commitment to working differently, and I would like to thank the Ministry of Finance for their support throughout this process."

Highlights include:

  • Small and medium-sized businesses that are registrants will see clear service standards for compliance reviews, and, in appropriate cases, be able to hire a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) who acts in that role for other, unaffiliated firms. Companies will see more support for raising capital in the public markets, through a confidential prospectus review process prior to announcing an IPO or other financing.

  • Innovative businesses and startups will receive more flexibility in the OSC's approach to registration, resales in the secondary market, and other regulatory requirements. Individuals applying to be CCO of fintech firms will be assessed based on their qualifications and on their broader business experience, and how the experience aligns with the firm's business model. Startups seeking financing will see crowdfunding rules harmonized across the country.

  • Large businesses will see duplicative filing requirements eliminated in investment funds and registration rules; delivery of documents, like prospectuses, electronically; and measures to facilitate the registration of multiple CCOs for large registrants with multiple lines of business. Public companies will have the ability to conduct at-the-market offerings without obtaining prior exemptive relief.

The 107 initiatives outlined in the report address 34 underlying concerns identified by staff during the consultation process. The initiatives will address those concerns by clarifying regulatory expectations, improving technology, enhancing coordination with other regulators, and providing greater support during regulatory interactions.

Several burden reduction initiatives have already been implemented by the OSC in 2019, including;

  • removal of fees for delayed outside business activity filings in May,
  • pre-file program for mining issuers' technical disclosure in June,
  • removal of dated requirement for investment fund managers to apply to act as trustees in June, and
  • flexible fees certification process for market participants in September.

Initiatives that fall entirely within the OSC's purview will be implemented within a year. Other changes will be addressed over a longer time frame, as they require legislative amendments, harmonization with other regulators, or long-term investments in technology, systems or expertise.

"I would like to express my deep gratitude to our dedicated Burden Reduction Task Force team for working diligently to land on more than 100 tangible ways we can reduce burden for our market," added Chair Jensen.

In November 2018, the OSC established the Burden Reduction Task Force to identify ways to enhance competitiveness for Ontario businesses and to reduce regulatory burden. Led by the taskforce, the OSC conducted extensive stakeholder consultation to gather feedback on areas for improvement. The OSC received 69 comment letters and 199 suggestions from market participants and investors on possible reforms.  Each was carefully evaluated by staff on the basis of its impact, practicality and potential cost savings.

See:  ‘Underwhelming’ financial services sector contributes to lagging productivity: report

This burden reduction initiative is a central component of the Ontario government's five-point plan for creating confidence in our capital markets which was addressed in the Government of Ontario's Open for Business commitment in 2018.

As part of the ongoing modernization process, the OSC's new Office of Economic Growth and Innovation will support long-term burden reduction efforts and provide a platform for ongoing feedback and dialogue with market participants.

The Reducing Regulatory Burden in Ontario's Capital Markets report can be found on the OSC's website.

View the original release --> here

 


 

Financial Post | Barbara Shecter | Nov 19, 2019

OSC's ‘burden reduction’ overhaul to save businesses millions

Maureen Jensen OSC chair - OSC makes doing business easier for market participantsBusinesses regulated in Ontario’s capital markets will save close to $8 million a year following implementation of a swath of new “burden reduction” reforms to be unveiled Tuesday by the Ontario Securities Commission.

The OSC overhaul is a central component of the Ontario government’s pledge to put an “open for business” stamp on the province. It consists of more than 100 specific actions, from simplified registration for large companies with multiple business lines, to the elimination of duplicative and arbitrary filings that don’t reflect the adoption of technology, to “tailored” rules for small firms.

The aim is “to make it easier to do business, but still be clear about the rules of the road,” OSC chair Maureen Jensen said in an interview.

The reduced costs have been calculated for only 21 of the 107 planned reforms so far, she said, adding that further savings could come from reduced fees if fewer regulatory services are required.

Jensen announced the creation of a burden-reduction task force last November, following the June election of Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government.

In its spring budget last year, the government laid out a five-point plan to “create confidence” in Ontario’s capital markets, which included the establishment of an Office of Economic Growth and Innovation at the OSC, and an emphasis on “economically focused rule making.”

The result is the OSC’s 108-page report to be released Tuesday, which lays out a plan to address 34 concerns gathered from industry players and investors, including making it easier to navigate the regulatory process and creating more tailored and flexible regulation for companies and investment firms of various sizes.

See:  Competition Bureau weighs in on fintech: urgent action required

In a statement, Ontario’s minister of finance, Rod Phillips, praised Jensen and the OSC for “moving in short order to streamline regulations without compromising investor protection.”


 

NCFA Advocacy for Regulatory Change Supporting Canadian Fintech Innovation

NCFA's Submission to Finance Canada March 2018:  Urgent need for regulatory change and government support

NCFA's Submission to Ontario Finance Minister Nov 4, 2017:  Urgent need for regulatory change

More Advocacy Initiatives undertaken by NCFA

 


Investor advocates have been skeptical about the Ford government’s strong public views on regulation of the financial markets, fearing that the pro-business stance would be detrimental to the OSC’s mandate of investor protection.

But Jensen countered that the investor protection mandate was a guiding force in determining what changes were made to lighten the regulatory burden for companies, with members of the task force required to ask themselves whether any change they were considering would diminish investor protection.

“If the answer was ‘yes,’ (the proposed change is) not in this report,” she said.

Overall, she said lower regulatory costs for businesses should be good news for those firms and for investors, who inevitably find the cost of doing business passed on to them.

Continue to the full article --> here

Download the 108 pg OSC Burden Reduction Report --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - OSC makes doing business easier for market participants The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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