Consumer Advisory Panel Members in Attendance

Sharon Altman-Leamen
Kristian Bonn
Anish Chopra
Rhona DesRoches – Teleconference
Hitesh Doshi
Roger Gauthier
Laura Tamblyn Watts

Special Guests

Lucie Tedesco – Teleconference

FSRA Members in Attendance

Glen Padassery, EVP Policy and Chief Consumer Officer
Judy Pfeifer, Chief Public Affairs Officer
Caroline Blouin, EVP, Pensions
Tim Bzowey, EVP, Auto/Insurance Products
Guy Hubert, EVP, Credit Union and Prudential
Huston Loke, EVP, Market Conduct
Jordan Solway, EVP, Legal and Enforcement
Taryn Pimento, Director, Policy – Consumer Office  
Chris Zolis, Director, Legal and Enforcement – Forensic Analysis and Investigations
Elissa Sinha, Director, Legal and Enforcement – Litigation and Enforcement and Deputy General Counsel
Daniel Padro, Director, Policy – Credit Union
David Bartucci, Director, Policy – Pensions
Joel Gorlick – Director – Policy – Market Conduct
Christy Hackney, Senior Manager, Policy – Auto Reform
John Slowakiewicz, Senior Manager, Policy – Strategic Policy
Rhea Tubigan, Senior Business Planning Consultant, Policy – Strategic Policy


  • The Consumer Advisor Panel (‘Panel’) deliberated on its mandate (as articulated in the Panel’s Terms of Reference), and agreed upon principles to guide member conduct and Panel activities.  
  • The Panel was provided with an overview of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) and the sectors FSRA regulates.
  • The Panel and FSRA discussed FSRA priorities and activities, and key consumer issues and initiatives.
  • FSRA sought the Panel’s advice on key consumer research priorities for the coming year.
  • Panel members commended FSRA on its progress since inception. They are pleased to work with FSRA to help ensure that consumer perspectives inform FSRA’s direction and decisions.

Discussion Topics of Focus

Panel Mandate

FSRA Overview

  • The Panel was provided with an overview of FSRA’s mandate, structure, history and progress since June 2019, and proposed priorities for 2020-2021.
  • FSRA highlighted the ways in which FSRA works with stakeholders in Ontario, and collaborates to harmonize jurisdictional standards.
  • There was a brief discussion regarding FSRA’s rule-making authority.

Sector Overviews

The Panel was provided with an overview of the sectors FSRA regulates and FSRA’s oversight functions in relation to the sectors:

  • Co-operative Corporations
  • Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires
  • Financial Advisors and Planners
  • Health Service Providers
  • Life and Health Insurance
  • Loan and Trust Companies
  • Mortgage Brokering
  • Pensions
  • Property and Casualty Insurance

Key consumer issues and activities were highlighted for the Panel and discussed, including:

  • The proposed Mortgage Brokering Code of Conduct and Fair Treatment of Consumers Guidance, which promote industry best practices and licensee ethical conduct.
  • The Canadian Credit Union Association’s development of a Credit Union Market Code, including involvement to date by and next steps for FSRA.
  • Missing Pension Members and Multi-Employer Pension Plans.
  • The Take All Comers Rule in the auto insurance system, FSRA’s consultation approach and next steps.

Investigation and Enforcement Overview

  • FSRA provided a summary of its approach to investigation and enforcement.
  • FSRA outlined how pervasive issues are identified and handled, including how FSRA deploys a variety of tools to protect the public interest. 

Cross Sector Consumer Initiatives

  • FSRA and the Panel discussed existing channels for stakeholder engagement and public education.
  • FSRA and the Panel discussed the FSRA complaints process and trend monitoring.
  • FSRA provided the Panel with an overview of consumer insights research that was recently initiated to:
    • Better understand the segments of consumers of the sectors FSRA regulates;
      • Better understand the needs and expectations of consumer segments, beginning with two sectors; and
      • Develop preliminary practices for consumer-focused research, strategies and solutions.
  • Feedback was sought from the Panel on the approach to the research, work to date and next steps.
  • FSRA sought the Panel’s advice on cross-sector consumer research priorities.

Summary of Advice from the Panel

  • The Panel discussed the importance of information accessibility and consumer financial literacy. The Panel offered advice on how FSRA might strengthen its reach to and value proposition for consumers to engage, including the use of online videos, social media, and plain language materials. The Panel also recommended that FSRA collaborate with consumer groups and other stakeholders on key consumer issues (e.g., financial services regulatory partners and regulators of other sectors with shared consumers).
  • The Panel noted the importance of developing a baseline understanding of consumers. Panel members recommended that FSRA’s consumer insights research identify where there may be vulnerable consumer segments.
  • The Panel suggested that transparency is an important priority for consumers. The Panel noted that consumers may have difficulty identifying scenarios in which sector stakeholders are circumventing rules (e.g., Take All Comers).
  • The Panel noted that for insurance, the value for money for the protections afforded to consumers is as important as cost. The Panel recommended that FSRA consistently consider the matter of suitability and value for money alongside the matter of affordability/accessibility of insurance products.
  • The Panel recommended that FSRA consider the following consumer research priorities:
    • Notice periods
    • Complaints resolution and Ombuds Services
    • Disclosures
    • Suitability and Know Your Client
    • Seniors’ issues and mental capacity
    • Intersectional issues (accessibility, geographic location, etc.)
    • Impacts of digital innovation (automation, online service delivery, data)
  • In support of collaboration, and to advance areas of mutual interest, the Panel expressed an interest in meeting with other consumer-oriented advisory panels.

Next Panel Meeting

Anticipated May/June 2020