Source: Competition Bureau Canada
The Competition Bureau has published the final report from its market study concerning technology-led innovation in the Canadian financial services sector.
The report outlines barriers to the growth and adoption of financial technology (FinTech) in Canada and provides a number of recommendations to help regulators and policymakers continue to promote FinTech innovation. The Bureau’s proposals are aimed at fostering competition and innovation in how Canadians:
pay for goods and services;
obtain loans for themselves and their businesses; and
receive financial advice.
In its report, the Bureau recommends modernizing laws and regulations to encourage the entry and adoption of new technologies, while maintaining consumer confidence and safety in this rapidly evolving sector.
The report follows 18 months of active engagement with national and international leaders in this sector, federal and provincial government partners, and Canadians. During this time, a number of positive developments that align with the Bureau’s recommendations have occurred. For example:
The Canadian Securities Administrators launched a regulatory sandbox that allows businesses to test their FinTech innovations in an environment with fewer regulations, and enables administrators to develop a common regulatory approach.
The Department of Finance is looking at ways to modernize legislation and regulation, and is examining new concepts such as open banking. Open banking has the potential to offer Canadians more control over their banking information, the ability to find the financial services that best meet their needs, and greater ease of switching between service providers.
Numerous initiatives to modernize regulations have been launched, including the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) LaunchPad, which aims to help FinTech firms navigate securities law requirements and bring new products to market faster. The OSC also partnered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission to better assist FinTech firms to expand internationally.
The Bureau is proud to have contributed to the dialogue with regulators, industry stakeholders and Canadians. This kind of collaboration is key to ensuring that the future of FinTech in Canada is competitive and innovative.
"FinTech has the potential to transform how Canadians access financial services. The findings and recommendations in our report will help regulators and policymakers create an environment that promotes FinTech innovation and growth in Canada."
Commissioner of Competition
The findings of the study are based on a review of publicly available information, as well as submissions from FinTech start-ups, incumbent financial institutions, industry experts, regulators and industry/consumer associations.
Throughout the market study, the Bureau conducted over 130 interviews, 13 outreach events, 10 information sessions and 9 international consultations.
In February 2017, the Bureau hosted a one-day workshop that brought together more than 230 participants from Canada and abroad to discuss the relationship between competition, innovation and regulation. Participants included entrepreneurs, representatives of established and new financial services organizations, domestic and international regulators, and members of the academic and legal communities.
On November 6, 2017, the Bureau published a draft version of the FinTech report for public comment. Between November 6 and 20, 2017, the Bureau received 30 submissions from interested parties, many of whom represent large segments of the industry. The feedback largely validated the Bureau’s recommendations.