As more organizations limit their business operations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Financial Services Authority of Ontario (FSRA) has issued a notice saying that while it will continue to carry out its regulatory duties, it will prioritize the health and safety of its employees, as well as employees, customers and members of regulated entities.
The regulator said that it is ensuring that all of its members are aware of the most recent federal, provincial, and local public health directions by activating its business continuity plan.
FSRA added that it is aware that many FSRA-regulated entities have activated their own business continuity plans in response to the pandemic, and the regulator thanked those who had shared their plans with other businesses. It advised that regulated entities should self-assess which of their core functions should be prioritized during this period of disruption, and that FSRA contacts would be available to respond to any questions entities may have.
The regulator also announced that some of its employees had commenced remote working arrangements. Employees will continue to be available by email and phone, as well as for conference calls and video conferences. There will be no meetings with external stakeholders as part of the business continuity plan, as well as no on-site examinations.
Public consultations with the FSRA will be performed online and will continue, however. FSRA is also reviewing upcoming licensing, filing and other requirements across the regulated sectors in light of the pandemic-driven disruption. And while certain credit unions and Ontario-incorporated insurers are required to hold annual general meetings, the FSRA has urged them to instead hold digital conferences.