Established in January 2020, the Consumer Advisory Panel serves as an advisory body to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) through its Consumer Office. The Panel provides advice from a consumer perspective on proposed FSRA policy changes and regulatory activities, and is an important part of FSRA’s stakeholder engagement process.
In late 2019, FSRA sought public feedback on the proposed Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Panel. After the Panel’s inaugural term in 2020, Panel members generally agreed that significant changes to the TOR were not required.
Provide your feedback
As it heads into its third term, FSRA is interested in stakeholders’ feedback on the Panel’s current TOR. FSRA will use feedback from stakeholders to determine whether changes should be made to the Panel’s TOR in advance of the 2022 term. FSRA welcomes input from stakeholders, as well as responses to the following consultation questions:
- Panel Mandate: Should the Panel’s mandate include different or additional elements? The 10 elements of the Panel’s mandate can be found under the “Panel mandate” section of the TOR.
- Term Limits: The TOR specifies the following about term limits: “The Panel members are appointed for one-year terms, with a possibility for extension to a maximum three-year term.” FSRA is interested in a model for term limits that adequately ensures Panel continuity and sustainability over time. What changes (if any) should be made to the Panel’s approach to term limits? Would staggering Panel members’ terms assist with Panel continuity?
- Chair of the Panel: The TOR currently states: “The Panel will be chaired by the Chief Consumer Officer and/or their designate.” However, FSRA is aware that some other advisory bodies have this function carried out by a panel member (e.g., the Ontario Securities Commission’s Investor Advisory Panel). Should one of the Panel members serve as the Chair of the Panel? The Panel Chair could be responsible for overseeing the development of the Panel’s work plan, setting meeting agendas, coordinating with the Consumer Office, and fostering Panel engagement. What are relevant considerations for FSRA to keep in mind if it proceeds with this type of model?
- Remuneration: Currently, Panel members receive a per diem remuneration of $250 for attendance at meetings. Should there be changes to remuneration for Panel members?
- Panel Composition: The Panel composition includes individual consumers, representatives from consumer associations, financial literacy experts, academics with background in consumer law, and other consumer experts in the financial services sector. Is it important for the Panel to have a particular composition (e.g., a mix of technical expertise and a consumer advocacy perspective)? Are there particular types of perspectives that need to be represented on the Panel?
- Meeting Frequency: Based on the TOR, the Panel is allowed to meet up to six times per year (and must have a minimum of two meetings). Additional meetings may be called as required. Should the cadence of meetings change (e.g., quarterly, monthly, etc.)?
- General Comments: Are there ways to make the Panel more effective and responsive to the needs of consumers in FSRA’s regulated sectors?
FSRA welcomes any other feedback or insights that stakeholders would like to share. The deadline to submit your feedback is December 1, 2021.
Before we begin, please make sure you do not include any personal or private financial information. If your inquiry does require this information be shared with us, please call us at 1-800-668-0128 or email us at [email protected] for instructions.
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