FSRA Life & Health Insurance (L&H) Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting with FSRA Board of Directors

Summary of the May 9, 2023 meeting 
25 Sheppard Avenue West and virtually via Teams

SAC members present: 

Eric Wachtel – Canadian Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies 
Cathy N. Hiscott – PPI
Lyne Duhaime – Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association
Susan Allemang – Independent Financial Brokers of Canada
Ali Salam – Sun Life Financial
Rosie Orlando – Primerica
James Ryu – Advocis
Ali Ghiassi – Canada Life
Jamie Greenfield – HUB Financial Inc
Dennis Craig – RBC Insurance
Neil Paton – Third Party Administrators Association of Canada
Yasmin Visram – iA Financial Group
Jim Mavroidis – Cigna Life Ins Co of Canada
Keith Martin – Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance 
Moira Gill – TD Insurance

FSRA board members present:

Joanne De Laurentiis – Chair of the Board
Larry Ritchie – Director
Joseph Iannicelli – Director
Kathy Bouey – Director
Brent Zorgdrager – Director

FSRA management members present:

Mark White – Chief Executive Officer
Huston Loke – Executive Vice Present, Market Conduct
Glen Padassery – Executive Vice President, Policy
Jordan Solway – Executive Vice President, Legal and Enforcement
Judy Pfeifer – Chief Public Affairs Officer
Wendy Horrobin – Head, Licensing and Risk Assessment
Erica Hiemstra – Head, Insurance Conduct, Market Conduct
Swati Agrawal – Director, Life and Health Companies & National Supervision
Joel Gorlick – Director, Policy - Market Conduct
Jason Harris – Director, Legal for Policy and Rule-Making & Deputy General Counsel 
Elissa Sinha – Director, Litigation and Enforcement & Deputy General Counsel
Heather Greenberg – Corporate Secretary & Deputy General Counsel
Tim Miflin – Senior Manager, Policy – Insurance Market Conduct
Debbie Scott – Technical Lead, Insurance Conduct

General comments:

The Chair of the Board welcomed the Committee and provided introductory remarks about the importance of engagement with the SAC, the feedback and information provided at meetings and how they help ensure Board members ask the right questions of FSRA management.

The EVP, Market Conduct also welcomed the Committee and provided a summary of key FSRA initiatives underway, including changes that will lead to stronger consumer protection for segregated fund customers, supervisory reviews of the distribution of L&H products, and work to strengthen the regulatory framework for Managing General Agencies (MGAs). He also highlighted the importance of regular engagement with the sector, particularly in relation to policy development.

The Committee discussed proposed changes to the regulatory framework for MGAs and accountability for ensuring compliance, and queried when FSRA would be able to provide further updates on its work. The EVP, Market Conduct confirmed that new standards are being developed, including proposed interpretation guidance and a proposed rule, and that a further update would be provided at a separate Technical Advisory Committee meeting.

The Committee expressed some concern that FSRA’s supervisory work and reporting on misconduct could discredit the wider sector. They also emphasized the importance of maintaining consumer confidence and the value that financial advisors can provide. The Committee encouraged FSRA to consider how needs-based sales practices for agents, like providing a financial needs analysis and reason why letters, could become requirements in Ontario. 

The EVP, Market Conduct confirmed that much of FSRA’s recent supervisory action had been targeted and focused, and reporting on misconduct had included appropriate qualifying statements. He also commented on FSRA’s interest in any industry initiatives that may be conducted on the value of advice and suggested returning to the discussion of best practices for agents in the future. 

The Committee discussed sector risks, including risks relating to cybersecurity. Committee members explained that the frequency of cyber risk events is increasing. Committee members discussed how controls relating to cybersecurity can be strengthened, ways to better inform customers when a cyber risk event occurs, and potential steps regulators can take to help manage this risk. The EVP, Policy referred the Committee to a recent FSRA consultation on cross-sector Information Technology Risk Management guidance which is aimed at helping sectors effectively manage a threat to their IT systems, infrastructure and data.

The Committee discussed the level of regulatory burden created by regulatory changes at the provincial and federal level. Committee members highlighted the need for harmonization with other jurisdictions when introducing new standards to the sector. 

The Chair thanked the Committee for their input. The Chair advised that she hopes the Committee will continue to have open and frank discussions with FSRA regarding sector risks and proposed new regulatory requirements, and looks forward to future engagement with the Committee.