Links Relating to Canadian Federal Financial Institutions
In Canada insurance companies can be incorporated either federally or provincially. Companies that expect to do business in a number of provinces are usually incorporated federally whilst those with more limited geographical intentions are often incorporated provincially. As a result, by far the majority of insurers having national operations, which of course also tend to be the larger insurers, are federally incorporated. Foreign insurance companies can be licensed in Canada on a branch basis and all foreign branch insurers are also subject to federal licensing.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is responsible for supervising the safety and soundness of all federally incorporated financial institutions as well as foreign branch institutions. Incidentally, under the Canadian constitution the business of banking is an exclusive federal responsibility, e.g. provincial governments cannot incorporate banks. OSFI therefore supervises all banks doing business in Canada, as well as branches of foreign institutions, federally incorporated insurance companies, trust companies and credit unions.
The OSFI web site is very extensive, with a great deal of information concerning Canadian solvency rules and regulations. The OSFI site map is at: http://www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca/osfi/index_e.aspx?ArticleID=3
In order to access specific laws, such as the federal Insurance Companies Act administered by OSFI, it is necessary to go to the Department of Justice Web site, from which one can review or download specific legislation: http://canada.justice.gc.ca/Loireg/index_en.html
Of course not all the laws are contained directly in the statutes. Most Acts make provision for Regulations pursuant to the Acts. Since it is much more straightforward to amend regulations than laws, regulations provide greater flexibility in areas where future changes are likely to be required. Federal regulations are found at: http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/search.html
Access to Justice Network
This site is a useful supplement to the two listed above. However, unlike the Department of Justice sites referenced above, the Access to Justice Network shown below is not confined only to federal legislative material: http://www.acjnet.org
Federal Deposit Insurance
Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) is the federal crown corporation that provides deposit insurance to federally supervised deposit taking institutions. Premiums are paid by supervised institutions based on their deposits but includes a factor that takes account of their capital adequacy relative to liabilities. As an insurer part of the mandate of CDIC is to monitor risk, and so along with OSFI, CDIC has played an important role in the development of Canadian supervisory approaches, particularly the development of Standards of Sound Business and Financial Practices. CDIC is found at: http://www.cdic.ca
The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators
The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) has played an historic role in insurance supervision in Canada. Originally the organization was called the Association of Provinicial Superintendents of Insurance and the federal government only attended sessions as an observer. In the 1980’s the organization was re-organized as the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators and the federal government became a member. CCIR functions as a forum for discussion regarding marketplace and other issues of concern to the regulators and also works to harmonize insurance legislation and financial filings across the country. http://www.ccir-ccrra.org
Data In Respect of Canadian Financial Institutions
Although the OSFI site contains some financial data, both federal and provincial financial institutions must report operating data to Statistics Canada, the Canadian federal statistical agency. Statistics Canada provides summary information on the operations of financial institutions operating in Canada at: http://www40.statcan.ca/cbin/sf01.cgi?dtype=fina&lan=eng&se=insurance
Specific data for Canadian insurance companies, as well as powerful analytical software, is available commercially from MSA Research Inc: www.msaresearch.com.
Department of Finance Canada
The Department of Finance sets fiscal and monetary policy and is also responsible for setting policy with regard to federal financial supervision. The Finance Canada site provides helpful links to other departments of finance in Canada and other countries in the world:http://www.fin.gc.ca/links/PUBFINE.html#can