Financial Sector Policy Branch

The Branch is responsible for providing policy analysis on Canada's financial sector and on the regulation of federally chartered financial institutions (banks, trust companies, insurance companies, credit unions and other financial institutions). It also manages the federal government's borrowing program and provides support to the Minister regarding Crown corporation borrowings and financial market and exchange rate policy.

The Branch is composed of four divisions.

Financial Sector Division

This division develops and evaluates policies on the regulatory framework for Canada's financial institutions and is composed of four sections.

Financial Sector Stability

This section provides policy advice and analysis on financial regulatory and stability issues, domestically and internationally, in consultation with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) and the Bank of Canada. It also coordinates Canada's position on international regulatory and supervisory issues at the Financial Stability Board, G7/G8 and G20.

Payments and pensions

This section provides policy advice on payments system clearing and settlement issues. It also provides policy advice and analysis respecting the regulation and supervision of federally registered pension plans in consultation with OSFI.

Financial Crimes

Work in this area is divided between two sections, which develop and analyze policies related to combating money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. The International Section supports Canada's international role in combating financial crime and terrorism financing. The Domestic Section is responsible for developing policies and coordinating domestic efforts in respect of Canada's anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorist-financing regime, including the implementation of international standards. Both sections work closely with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), law enforcement and other government departments and agencies.

Financial Markets Division

This division is made up of four sections, which together provide policy analysis and advice on the federal government's financing operations and on financial market developments.

Capital Markets Section

This section is responsible for monitoring and advising on developments in capital markets and formulating policy responses on issues such as access to financing, exchanges, securitization markets, derivatives, new instruments, and major investment funds. The section is also responsible for providing advice on the legislative framework and governance of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Government Financing

This section provides analysis and policy advice on Crown corporation borrowing, risk management, governance, and related activities; on government loans, loan guarantees and special purpose borrowings; circulating currency; and the investment of government funds by foundations and endowments. It also manages a lending desk that provides direct loans to certain Crown corporations.

Debt Management Policy

This section provides policy analysis and advice relating to the management of the government's market debt and cash balances; directs and oversees the implementation of the borrowing program; and prepares official reports on debt management. The section works collaboratively with the Bank of Canada as fiscal agent of the government.

Reserves and Risk Management

This section provides policy analysis and advice on the investment of Canada's international reserves and the management of the risks associated with the government's foreign financial assets and liabilities. It works with the Bank of Canada to implement policy decisions and carry out operations related to foreign borrowing and investing.

Financial Institutions Division

The Division's mandate is to provide analysis and advice on structural, consumer and competition issues, as well as advice on transactions requiring ministerial approval, including potential mergers. In collaboration with the Financial Sector Division, it is also responsible for regularly updating financial sector legislation and regulations. The Division is made up of four sections.

Competition Issues and Transactions

This section monitors and advises on major financial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions. It provides advice on the government's mortgage insurance guarantee. It also conducts research and analyzes trends within the financial sector, including financial institutions' corporate strategies and performance.

Strategic Planning and Trade

This section is responsible for strategic planning and communications related to financial sector issues and priorities, including legislative and regulatory reforms, and for policy development related to credit unions. In addition, this section is responsible for the federal government's relations with foreign governments in the area of financial services.

Consumer Issues

This section is responsible for consumer-related issues in the financial services sector. It develops policies and legislation in such areas as access to financial services, disclosure of service fees and initiatives to promote financial literacy.

Structural Issues

This section develops policy on structural issues related to corporate organization, permitted activities, and regulation of financial institutions. Specifically, it provides policy advice on ownership, investments, foreign entrants and corporate governance.

Securities Policy Division

This division helps formulate Department policy on the regulation of securities within the overall structure of financial regulation in Canada. The Division will help to establish a Canadian securities regulator and the supporting legislation.

Currently, the Division comprises one section:

Securities Regulation, Intergovernmental Affairs And Coordination

This section undertakes regulatory policy analysis and provides advice on issues related to securities content and rules, including drafting of legislation, working with the transition team (Transition Office to a Canadian Securities Regulator) on setting up the organization and working with the transition team on merging securities rules. Additionally, the section provides policy advice in regard to the federal government’s relations with provincial and territorial governments in the area of financial services, and monitors and advises on domestic capital market policies to ensure coherence of financial sector regulation in Canada.