FSRA supervises and regulates a number of financial services sectors in Ontario. Early in 2019, our stakeholders asked for greater clarity regarding the actions we require from them, while streamlining our processes.

Our approach to standardizing guidance makes it easier to do business for those sectors in Ontario. It also makes us a more effective regulator. The public, new entrants and incumbents can better understand what is legally binding, what is FSRA’s interpretation or application of law and what information is designed to be helpful.

Types of Guidance

FSRA uses four distinct types of guidance to support requirements set out in legislation, regulations and rules: Interpretation, Information, Approach, and Decision. We determine the appropriate type of guidance depending on specific circumstances in the regulated sectors.

We have established standard structures and styles to help stakeholders easily understand and differentiate between the categories. The following chart provides further details regarding the four types of guidance and the relationship between FSRA guidance and legal requirements.



Legislation / Regulation

  • Legally binding.


  • Legally binding.
  • Developed through process defined in the FSRA Act with final decision from Minister.


  • Part of FSRA’s Guidance Framework.
  • Sets out FSRA’s view of requirements under its legislative mandate (i.e. legislation, regulation and rules).  Non-compliance can lead to enforcement or supervisory action.
  • Consistent with Efficient principle, where an Interpretation creates compliance obligations it will be consistent with a risk- based approach to regulation.


  • Part of FSRA’s Guidance Framework.
  • Provides information from FSRA on certain topics, such as best or good practices, without creating compliance obligations for regulated persons.
  • Can take many different forms (e.g. FAQs supporting filing or form requirements; adopting code or standard that is not a mandatory requirement; explanatory note regarding an emerging issue).


  • Part of FSRA’s Guidance Framework.
  • Describes FSRA’s internal principles, processes and practices for supervisory action and application of CEO discretion (e.g. Guidance Approach or Pensions Supervision Approach).
  • Does not create compliance obligations for regulated parties but can be considered indicative of FSRA’s position.
  • Does not alter requirement to comply with existing legal and regulatory framework.


  • Part of FSRA’s Guidance Framework.
  • Sets out FSRA’s determination and underlying reasoning for specific regulatory issues. This also will serve as precedential value for others not involved as parties to the specific matter under consideration.
  • Some of FSRA’s Decisions may be the subject of review by the Financial Services Tribunal and others reflect the exercise of FSRA’s regulatory discretion or authority.



We use the following principles as the foundation for our approach to using guidance:

  • Accountable (Internal) Our guidance supports delivery on its legislative mandate and its vision for financial safety, fairness and choice in Ontario.
  • Accountable (External) Regulated persons must put in place processes, controls and procedures to meet the expectations expressed in FSRA’s guidance.
  • Effective Our approach to developing guidance is supported by good governance practices, sectoral expertise and high professional standards.
  • Efficient We will develop and maintain guidance that is relevant, proportionate to risks being addressed and minimizes regulatory burden
  • Adaptable We respond to the dynamic nature of the regulated sectors by providing future-focused guidance and proactively identifying market trends requiring new or revised guidance.
  • Collaborative FSRA consults stakeholders regarding guidance that creates compliance obligations and cooperates with other regulators to identify opportunities for improvement and harmonization.
  • Transparent FSRA sets well-understood expectations for regulated persons through clear and organized guidance.

Finding an Active Guidance

Use this table to search for an active guidance. This search includes new guidance issued by FSRA and still-active guidance inherited from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO).

For More Information

For further details regarding FSRA’s approach to guidance, the four types of guidance, and the relationship between FSRA guidance and legal requirements, see our Guidance Framework.

Public Input

FSRA is launching the new Guidance Framework on October 17, 2019. We are seeking your feedback on the proposed Framework. As FSRA issues new guidance, please provide your feedback online by January 31, 2020