Consultation on FCAC’s stakeholder engagement and consultation framework for compliance and enforcement issues

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Closed

This consultation is closed.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) depends on input from a wide array of stakeholders—federally regulated financial entities, consumer advocates, educators, and others in government—to inform its work. To make sure we’re getting things right, we are asking stakeholders to review and comment on the ways we propose to engage with them on issues led by our Compliance and Enforcement Branch.

Purpose

FCAC is reviewing its approach to stakeholder engagement and consultation. It has developed a new framework to encourage and structure consultation and engagement so that these contribute to the achievement of the Agency’s strategic priorities and its overall mandate as Canada’s national financial consumer protection supervisor.

Through this proposed framework, relevant stakeholders can contribute to proactive and transparent decision-making at FCAC. The framework will strengthen and formalize our consultation process and fulfill our commitment to engage stakeholders.

This framework proposes to channel stakeholder input in two ways:

  1. compliance consultations on specific regulatory and supervisory matters with direct impact on compliance
  2. stakeholder engagement to explore wider issues of mutual interest to FCAC and stakeholders, such as the evolution of mobile payment systems 

Please comment:

FCAC invites all parties interested in reviewing this proposed framework to submit comments by March 6, 2015. Please send comments electronically to compliance@fcac.gc.ca; written comments may be sent to the address at the end of this document.

Stakeholders

FCAC engages and consults with many relevant stakeholders, including: 

  • federally regulated financial entities
  • industry associations
  • other regulators (federal, provincial, municipal)
  • consumer groups
  • legal representatives
  • the general public

When inviting groups to contribute to deliberations on a topic, FCAC will strive to include stakeholders that have a demonstrated interest in the topic. We will hold public consultations when seeking the opinion of Canadians in general. 

For example, if FCAC proposes to issue a new Commissioner’s Guidance on a subject related to the Credit and Debit Card Code of Conduct, we may invite payment card network operators and merchant associations to initial consultations. Depending on the issues, FCAC may then open the consultation to the public. 

Questions to consider:

  • What other stakeholder groups should we consult?
  • In addition to our website and direct meetings with consumer groups, what other methods could we use to assess the views of the Canadian public?
  • If you were asked to participate in a consultation process, would you? Why or why not?

A. Compliance consultations

FCAC proposes to consult with stakeholders on:

  • all compliance-related initiatives that have a regulatory impact (e.g. Commissioner’s Guidance and Compliance Bulletins)
  • any administrative changes that will have a significant impact on stakeholders (e.g. changes to the Compliance Framework) 

Questions to consider:

  • How would consultations on these topics be helpful for you?
  • How would this approach help encourage voluntary compliance by the industry?
  • Do you believe that consultations would help reduce the administrative burden on financial institutions? Why or why not?

 

The key objective of compliance consultations is to give stakeholders opportunities to express their views, and provide input and expertise on matters that concern them. The consultation process would also increase transparency with stakeholders in regards to FCAC’s compliance activities.

Types of consultations 

Compliance consultations can take many forms. FCAC proposes to use the following: 

Pre-consultation

Pre-consultations seek input from selected stakeholders when testing our views on sensitive and/or complex subject matters prior to a more formal consultation. We would provide the key messages and relevant documents on a confidential basis for review and comment. We could also hold confidential closed-door consultation sessions with selected stakeholders. Pre-consultations could be followed by further consultations with industry stakeholders or the public. 

Public consultation

Public consultations seek the general public’s input on matters affecting them. This would ensure that the public is part of the process and would allow them to voice their opinions on an issue. Public consultations tend to yield perspectives that differ from those of regulators and regulated entities. 

Industry consultation

Industry consultation seeks input from federally regulated financial entities and/or industry associations. We would involve the industry in discussions about important compliance-related matters that could have a significant impact on their operations. Industry consultations would also help FCAC to ensure its compliance materials remain practical and effective. We intend to use this type of consultation for most Commissioner’s Guidance and other similar regulatory-related documents. 

Targeted consultation

From time to time, we would select a group representing a cross-section of stakeholders, so we can gather the views of a target group quickly. We would send a draft document directly to targeted participants for their review. These consultations may be followed by industry consultations. 

Questions to consider:

  • What other consultation practices should FCAC adopt?

Timing

FCAC will ensure that consultation timeframes and deadlines give participants reasonable time to prepare and provide their input. Where possible, we would allow 45 calendar days for formal consultations, beginning on the day the consultation document is posted on FCAC’s website and the Government of Canada’s Consulting with Canadians website. We would ensure stakeholders are given adequate notification about the length of the submission period. 

Providing comments 

In our consultations, we would encourage interested parties to send comments by email. We would also accept written comments by mail or fax. 

Questions to consider:

  • What do you consider a reasonable timeframe for a consultation?
  • Are there any other methods you would like to use in order to provide your comments?

Follow-up 

The consultation would not end with the collection of submissions and comments from stakeholders. FCAC would analyze the consultation responses carefully and give fair consideration to all relevant submissions and comments. 

For any public consultations, FCAC may publish a report summarizing the main submissions received and what, if any, changes we made as a result. 

For targeted or industry consultations, FCAC would summarize the submissions and communicate them as well as any resulting changes to participants. 

We believe that this type of reporting would support the objectives of this consultation framework, as it would provide additional transparency to the process as to how decisions are made. 

Question to consider:

  • Is this the level of feedback you would like to see post-consultation? Why or why not?

Publishing the results of public consultations 

FCAC will post its public consultation information on: 

We will not publish any individual submissions received.

B. Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder engagement sessions would allow for an open and honest dialogue that would help build understanding and trust on issues of mutual interest, such as the evolution of mobile payments. They would promote transparency, consistency and clarity in the way FCAC communicates with stakeholders.

We propose to schedule regular stakeholder engagement sessions with groups, businesses and individuals that have a defined interest in financial consumer protection. They could be formal or informal meetings, and would form part of FCAC’s ongoing commitment to capture and share knowledge about matters affecting the industry. 

These sessions could take various formats, such as conference calls, face-to-face meetings, roundtable discussions or webinars. The timing and type of sessions would depend on the topics of interest and on the availability of stakeholders. 

Depending on the issue to be discussed, FCAC could invite specific stakeholders to attend certain sessions, while inviting all interested parties, including the general public, to others. 

Questions to consider:

  • Do you believe these types of engagement sessions would be worthwhile? Why or why not?
  • With whom do you feel we should be meeting on a regular basis? Why?
  • How could consumers and consumer groups best contribute to these processes?
  • How could industry best contribute to these processes?
  • What is your preferred setting for these sessions? For what reasons?

Invitation to comment

As mentioned above, FCAC invites all parties interested in reviewing this proposed framework to submit comments by March 6, 2015. Please send comments electronically to compliance@fcac.gc.ca or send written comments to:

Teresa Frick
Director, Compliance and Enforcement Branch
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
427 Laurier Avenue West, 6th floor
Ottawa, ON K1R 1B9
Fax: 613-941-1436​ 

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