Purpose of consultation

The financial services sector is undergoing significant change and this heightens the need for regulators to understand and protect the public interest. Consumer expectations for choice and services are high, driving new technologies, business models, products and services.

We are establishing a Consumer Advisory Panel to provide perspectives from consumers (including pension beneficiaries, credit union members and the general public) on proposed FSRA policy changes and to assist our Consumer Office in becoming the voice of the consumer within FSRA. The Panel will advise FSRA’s Executive Vice President, Policy and Chief Consumer Officer and inform FSRA’s strategic approach and related activities, including consumer-based research, policy support and consumer outreach.

The Panel will help ensure that consumer perspectives inform our direction and decisions, a key priority for FSRA as we work to deliver on FSRA’s mandate under the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario Act to protect the public interest, and safeguard public confidence and trust, in financial services in Ontario.

We sought public input on the Terms of Reference for the Panel, including the Panel’s purpose, mandate, authority, deliverables, composition, administration, membership, term limits and reappointment, meetings, attendance and costs.

What we heard

FSRA is appreciative of the effort that went into the thoughtful comments we received regarding the Consumer Advisory Panel’s proposed Terms of Reference. We thank all commenters for the views expressed.

We carefully considered all comments received. Based on the feedback, we made several important revisions to the Terms of Reference, including:

  • More clearly emphasizing the importance of the Panel to FSRA’s Stakeholder Engagement Process.
  • Adding a requirement for the Panel to provide feedback on the progress made by FSRA on its priorities from the previous annual business plan.
  • Compensating members on a per diem basis for attendance at meetings as a Panel member, with an annual review of the per diem rate.

We also noted comments about the frequency of Panel meetings. FSRA and the Panel members will re-evaluate the number of times meetings will be held per year based on the responsibilities of the Panel.

Our response

FSRA announced the Panel’s membership and revised Terms of Reference on January 23, 2020. The nine members selected to serve on the Panel bring extensive leadership and experience in representing consumer interests in Ontario and Canada. The Panel’s first meeting will take place in the coming months.

List of contributors

  1. Harvey Naglie (Investor/consumer)
  2. Caroline Hossein (York University)
  3. Neil Gross (Component Strategies)
  4. Harold Geller (MBC Law Professional Corporation)

Consumer Advisory Panel – Summary Table