As the prudential regulator of Ontario credit unions, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario's (FSRA’s) role includes:

  • Contributing to the stability of the sector.
  • Enhancing public confidence in the sector.
  • Protecting depositors.

FSRA has the power to ensure that credit unions manage their operations in a prudent manner. The primary focus of our prudential regulation and supervision is on understanding how current and future events and risks may impact credit unions. As part of this oversight, credit unions are required to maintain adequate liquidity and strong capital reserves to mitigate any shortfalls and unexpected losses.

FSRA's authority

While FSRA respects a credit union’s right to govern its own affairs, we also have the authority to take immediate action if FSRA considers depositor funds are, or would be, at risk. As the sector regulator, we maintain the right to:

  • Conduct regular on-site examinations.
  • Monitor via monthly reporting and other information collection.
  • Issue non-compliance orders in accordance with Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994 (the Act) and other rules and regulations.

Risk-based supervisory framework

The primary focus of FSRA's supervisory work is on determining the impact of current—and potential future—internal and external events on the risk profile of credit unions.

The framework supports the management of the deposit insurance premium process. Supervisory risk assessments may be adjusted due to findings, observations, changes in business activities, and economic conditions.

Enforcement activities

FSRA maintains the right to impose conditions of deposit insurance or administrative penalties on credit unions as outlined in legislation. These powers include the right to:

  • Impose conditions of deposit insurance.
  • Impose administrative penalties for failure to perform or meet specified requirements.
  • Apply to the court to set aside a restricted party transaction.
  • Require a meeting with a credit union’s board of directors.

Depositor protection programs

Watchlist

Credit unions that exhibit a higher-than-normal risk profile are monitored more closely. This involves more frequent reporting and examinations to ensure that any deteriorating trends are actively monitored and appropriately corrected.

Supervision

Credit unions that meet certain risk-based criteria may be placed under "supervision." The Act provides the "supervisor" statutory authority to order a credit union's board of directors to correct its practices or refrain from undertaking activities that may harm the credit union. FSRA follows the practice of providing credit unions with time to correct identified deficiencies in their operations prior to being placed under supervision. The length of time provided is dependent on the seriousness of the deficiency and the likelihood of corrective action.

Administration

In some circumstances, the Act provides FSRA the authority to place a credit union under "administration." Administration allows the credit union to continue to operate under FSRA’s direct control while providing sufficient time to develop and implement the most appropriate strategy to protect depositors.

Dissolution

When a credit union goes out of business, a liquidator is appointed to manage the orderly wind up of operations. In most cases, FSRA is appointed as liquidator in order to minimize the impact on the credit union's depositors, pay depositors, wind up affairs in an orderly manner, and maximize the recovery of assets.

Other FSRA powers

FSRA has the authority to issue compliance orders requiring a credit union to resolve specified weaknesses and deficiencies. In certain cases, FSRA may also impose conditions of deposit insurance and administrative penalties. FSRA is committed to administering these responsibilities in a fair and transparent manner, in accordance with established criteria.

Under the Act, FSRA has a number of other powers that it may use as circumstances require. These include the power to:

  • Impose or amend conditions of deposit insurance.
  • Impose an administrative penalty for failure to perform specified requirements.
  • Require an extended audit scope.
  • Apply to the court to set aside a restricted party transaction.
  • Require a meeting of the credit union's board of directors.

Compliance orders

Conditions of deposit insurance and compliance orders will only be issued by FSRA upon careful investigation and analysis of a credit union's identified material weaknesses and deficiencies. FSRA will issue a written notice of its intention to issue a compliance order or impose conditions of deposit insurance, providing full details of the criteria and evidence used for the decision. Credit unions will normally be provided with at least 15 days' notice, an opportunity to respond, and the right to appeal all compliance orders. Compliance orders issued by FSRA will be published on FSRA's website.

Under the Act, FSRA has the authority to issue a compliance order requiring a credit union to undertake specific actions where:

  • There are reasonable grounds to believe that the credit union is not complying with the requirements of the Act and the regulations.
  • FSRA considers it is necessary to protect the interests of the credit union's members, shareholders and depositors.
  • FSRA considers it necessary to ensure the financial security and integrity of the credit union.

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