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Innovation at the OSC

Office of Economic Growth and Innovation

The Office of Economic Growth and Innovation (Innovation Office) is a dedicated team at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) focussed on initiatives that support economic growth and foster innovation in Ontario’s capital markets.

Our vision is to be the catalyst in innovative regulation that promotes confidence and economic growth. We recognize the role of innovation as a powerful driver of competition, consumer choice, and the critical role it will play in Ontario’s long-term growth.

The Innovation Office contributes to processes that support innovation and drive efficiency at the OSC. Through stronger engagement and collaboration, the Innovation Office team works to ensure that market participants’ input is considered in OSC policy making and operational programs. The team is accountable for providing advice to senior management on implementing ongoing burden reduction initiatives and recommending changes to OSC rules and processes to reduce burden.

The Innovation Office Charter

The Innovation Office Charter defines the Office’s role and operations. It outlines our strategic objectives and initiatives to support our mandate.

In 2019, the Ontario Government introduced a five-point plan specific to the oversight of its regulated capital markets. The plan, as outlined in the Charter, is meant to support the Government’s overarching mandate of lowering business costs, promoting Ontario internationally, helping employers attract skilled workers, as well as creating further confidence in the capital markets and financial services.

OSC LaunchPad

The Innovation Office operates the OSC LaunchPad, which works directly with new and innovative firms, helping them navigate securities laws.

Modernizing regulation and reducing regulatory burden

The Innovation Office works closely with the OSC’s internal branches to monitor and report on progress and to support delivery of the recommendations in the OSC’s 2019 report, Reducing Burden in Ontario’s Capital Markets.

Learn more about how the Innovation Office is working to modernize regulation in Ontario
 

Outreach and engagement

The Innovation Office represents a new model for supporting innovation in Ontario’s capital markets and the broader economy. This new approach relies on interactive engagement from stakeholders with an interest in building a diverse and resilient economy that attracts new ideas, talent and capital from around the world.

As the Innovation Office develops our outreach initiatives, we will welcome feedback and suggestions for reducing burden, eliminating barriers to innovation and building a stronger ecosystem to fuel Ontario’s long-term economic growth.
 

Regulatory partnerships

The OSC works closely with other regulators to help fintech companies to expand borders. Our work with the CSA Regulatory Sandbox and the Global Financial Innovation Network help Ontario fintech businesses reach further. Learn more about our regulatory partnerships

October 29, 2020: OSC, ASC and AMF invite businesses to participate in cross-border testing

TORONTO - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) and Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) are inviting businesses in their respective markets to apply to test innovative products, services and business models across international borders. Continue reading

October 29, 2020: OSC Publishes Charter for Innovation Office

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today published a Charter that sets out the vision, role and strategic objectives of its Innovation Office (the Office), a new branch of the Commission focused on supporting economic growth and innovation in Ontario’s capital markets. Continue reading

June 17, 2020: OSC announces leadership of new Office of Economic Growth and Innovation

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today announced the leadership of its newly-established Office of Economic Growth and Innovation (Office). Continue reading

June 11, 2020: Canadian securities regulators sign fintech co-operation agreement with the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan

Montreal - Members of the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have signed a fintech co-operation agreement with the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan (FSC). The members are the securities regulatory authorities in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan. Continue reading

January 16, 2020: Canadian securities regulators publish additional guidance for entities facilitating the trading of crypto assets

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published Staff Notice 21-327 Guidance on the Application of Securities Legislation to Entities Facilitating the Trading of Crypto Assets, to help these entities to determine situations where securities legislation may or may not apply. Continue reading

January 16, 2020: GFIN Report - Cross-Border Testing: Lessons Learned

As part of the Network’s commitment to an open dialogue with stakeholders, GFIN has prepared the “Cross-border testing: lessons learned” report to reflect on what we have worked on since the application period in early 2019, including our achievements and the challenges we have faced. The report also includes next steps and our forward work programme as agreed by members at our recent workstream meeting in Montréal in October 2019. Continue reading

January 16, 2020: Global Financial Innovation Network Official Website Launch

The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) was formally launched in January 2019 by an international group of financial regulators and related organisations.

The GFIN is a network of over 50 organisations committed to supporting financial innovation in the interests of consumers. It seeks to provide a more efficient way for innovative firms to interact with regulators, helping them navigate between countries as they look to scale new ideas. This includes the ability to apply to join a pilot for firms wishing to test innovative products, services or business models across more than one jurisdiction.

The GFIN also aims to create a new framework for co-operation between financial services regulators on innovation related topics, sharing different experiences and approaches. Continue reading

December 15, 2019: Co-Operation Agreement Concerning Innovative Fintech Businesses with the Monetary Authority of Singapore

Under a new Co-Operation Agreement (‘Agreement’), innovative FinTech businesses in Ontario and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will be able to seek support from their financial regulators as they seek to operate in the other’s market. Continue reading

December 12, 2019: OSC LaunchPad Survey – Regulatory and Capital Raising Challenges

We invite you to participate in an OSC LaunchPad survey that solicits feedback on the regulatory and capital raising challenges faced by innovative businesses at various stages of development.

The survey was developed in collaboration with two students from Rotman’s Master of Financial Risk Management (MRFM) program currently being sponsored by OSC LaunchPad for a nine-week project.

Here is a link to the survey: OSC LaunchPad Survey – Regulatory and Capital Raising Challenges

We welcome your candid insights by Friday January 10, 2020 (deadline extended).

Survey responses are collected anonymously and will take approximately 15-20 minutes of your time. By sharing your experiences, you will help us further understand how we can better support innovation in Ontario. The OSC LaunchPad team will use the information collected from the survey and summarize the findings in a short report that will be published on the OSC LaunchPad website.

We also encourage you to share this survey with your network of other members/organizations.

August 8, 2019: CRR Annual Summary Report for Dealers, Advisers and Investment Fund Managers

At OSC LaunchPad, we've heard that fintech’s are looking for tools to explain registration requirements and regulatory obligations. The CRR Annual report is a great tool to help your business do that. Continue reading

June 25, 2019: GFIN - one year on: The Global Financial Innovation Network reflects on its first year

Today, the OSC is pleased to announce the publication of the Global Financial Innovation Network’s (GFIN) “One Year On” report.

The GFIN is a network of international regulators and related organisations committed to supporting financial innovation and to creating a framework for co-operation between regulators to share experiences and approaches to innovation. The GFIN has rapidly grown over the past year from its 12 founding members, to be a global dialogue with 35 Member Regulators and 7 Observers from 21 jurisdictions. And it continues to grow.

The “GFIN – one year on report” sets out what the GFIN has been doing over the past year, the challenges it has faced, achievements, and its ambitions for the future. It is also to show that it is listening to stakeholders, and welcomes feedback in order to ensure that the GFIN continues to add value. Continue reading

April 29, 2019: GFIN cross-border testing pilot – next steps

FCA announce the next steps as part of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN or Network) cross-border testing pilot. Continue reading

March 14, 2019: Canadian securities regulators consult on regulatory framework for crypto-asset trading platforms

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) today published Joint Canadian Securities Administrators/Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada Consultation Paper 21-402 Proposed Framework for Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms. The consultation paper seeks input from the fintech community, market participants, investors and other stakeholders on how regulatory requirements may be tailored for crypto-asset trading platforms (platforms) operating in Canada.

Comment Letters for Canadian securities regulators consult on regulatory framework for crypto-asset trading platforms

Continue reading

February 28, 2019: OSC Announces Fintech Advisory Committee Members for 2019

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced today the membership of its new Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC), which will advise OSC staff on developments in the fintech space as well as the unique challenges faced by fintech businesses in the securities industry. Continue reading

January 31, 2019: OSC Invites Innovative Ontario Businesses to Participate in Global Pilot

Today the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is inviting eligible innovative Ontario businesses to apply to participate in a pilot project to test financial products, services and business models across international borders. Continue reading

December 6, 2018: OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). Continue reading

August 7, 2018: OSC joins global network to support financial innovation

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has, in collaboration with 11 financial regulators and related organizations from around the world, today announced its participation in the Global Finance Innovation Network (GFIN), a new initiative that aims to help innovative firms seeking to operate in multiple countries. The network also aims to enhance information-sharing between financial services regulators on innovation-related topics. Continue reading

June 11, 2018: Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published CSA Staff Notice 46-308 Securities Law Implications for Offerings of Tokens, which provides additional guidance on the applicability of securities laws to offerings of coins or tokens, including ones that are commonly referred to as “utility tokens.” Continue reading

June 6, 2018: CSA Investor Alert: Caution urged for Canadians investing with crypto-asset trading platforms

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is urging Canadians to be cautious when considering buying crypto assets through trading platforms. Even though a platform may call itself an “exchange,” that does not mean it is complying with the securities regulatory regime. The CSA wants to make it clear: currently there are no crypto-asset trading platforms recognized as an exchange or otherwise authorized to operate as a marketplace or dealer in Canada. Continue reading

February 7, 2018: OSC Announces Fintech Advisory Committee Members for 2018

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today announced new members of its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC), which advises OSC staff on developments and trends in the fintech space, as well as the unique challenges encountered by innovative businesses in the securities industry. Continue reading

December 18, 2017: Canadian securities administrators remind investors of inherent risks associated with cryptocurrency futures contracts

Montreal – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) would like to remind dealers and investors of the inherent risks associated with products linked to cryptocurrencies, including futures contracts. While these contracts may be traded on regulated exchanges and may be cleared by regulated central counterparties, the fact remains that their high level of risk will not be suitable for all types of investors. Continue reading

December 14, 2017: Co-Operation Agreement Concerning Innovative FinTech Businesses with the France Autorité des Marchés Financiers

Under a new Co-Operation Agreement (‘Agreement’), innovative FinTech businesses in Ontario and the France Autorité Des Marchés Financiers (AMF) will be able to seek support from their financial regulators as they seek to operate in the other’s market. Continue reading

December 11, 2017: Ontarians and Cryptocurrency: A First Look

Over the past several months, interest in cryptocurrencies has increased significantly. The Investor Office commissioned a small online survey of Ontarians age 18 and over, carried out in November 2017, as a first step towards learning more about which segments of the Ontario public are purchasing cryptocurrencies, how Ontarians perceive the risks of cryptocurrencies, and some of the reasons why Ontarians either are or are not purchasing cryptocurrencies. Continue reading

November 22, 2017: OSC Requests Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). Continue reading

October 24, 2017: Co-Operation Agreement Concerning Innovative Fintech Businesses with the Abu Dhabi Global Market Financial Services Regulatory Authority

Under a new Co-Operation Agreement (‘Agreement’), innovative FinTech businesses in Ontario and the Abu Dhabi Global Market Financial Services Regulatory Authority (ADGM) will be able to seek support from their financial regulators as they seek to operate in the other’s market. Continue reading

August 24, 2017: Canadian securities regulators outline securities law requirements that may apply to cryptocurrency offerings

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published CSA Staff Notice 46-307 Cryptocurrency Offerings, which outlines how securities law requirements may apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs), initial token offerings (ITOs), cryptocurrency investment funds and the cryptocurrency exchanges trading these products. Continue reading

June 28, 2017: CSA Regulatory Sandbox issues guidance on its fast and flexible process for innovative business models

The CSA Regulatory Sandbox is an initiative of the Canadian Securities Administrators to support fintech businesses seeking to offer innovative products, services and applications in Canada. It allows firms to register and/or obtain exemptive relief from securities laws requirements, under a faster and more flexible process than through a standard application, in order to test their products, services and applications throughout the Canadian market on a time limited basis. Continue reading

March 8, 2017: OSC Highlights Potential Securities Law Requirements for Businesses Using Distributed Ledger Technologies

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is advising businesses that use distributed ledger technologies (DLT), such as blockchain, as part of their financial products or service offerings that they may be subject to Ontario securities law requirements. Continue reading

February 23, 2017: The Canadian Securities Administrators Launches a Regulatory Sandbox Initiative

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA or we) today launched a regulatory sandbox, an initiative that supports businesses seeking to offer innovative products, services and applications. Continue reading

February 22, 2017: OSC and FCA Sign Co-Operation Agreement to Support Innovative Businesses

Under a new Co-Operation Agreement (‘Agreement’), innovative FinTech businesses in Ontario and the United Kingdom will be able to seek support from their financial regulators as they seek to operate in the other’s market. Continue reading

January 26, 2017: OSC Announces Fintech Advisory Committee Members

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced today the membership of its new Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC), which will advise OSC staff on developments in the fintech space as well as the unique challenges faced by fintech businesses in the securities industry. Continue reading

November 10, 2016: Co-Operation Agreement Concerning Innovative Fintech Businesses with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission

Under a new Co-Operation Agreement (‘Agreement’), innovative FinTech businesses in Ontario and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) will be able to seek support from their financial regulators as they seek to operate in the other’s market. Continue reading

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