Financial Sector Policy Branch


The Branch is responsible for providing policy advice on Canada's financial sector, including the frameworks for federally chartered financial institutions and financial system areas under federal jurisdiction, federal borrowing and investments, and capital markets matters. The Branch works closely with federal financial sector agencies, including the Bank of Canada, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), and the Canadian Securities Transition Office (CSTO).

The Branch is composed of four Divisions.

Financial Systems Division

The Financial Systems Division provides policy advice on the frameworks for oversight and regulation of financial system activities, including pensions of federally regulated firms, payments and financial crime. The Division is responsible for coordinating advice and initiatives to maintain financial stability. It is composed of five sections.

Pensions Policy

This section provides policy advice and analysis respecting private pension plans in federally regulated industries, which includes banking, interprovincial transportation and telecommunications, pension plans established in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, as well as pension plans of federal Crown corporations. The section works in consultation with OSFI, which is responsible for the supervision of federally regulated private pension plans.

Financial Stability

This section provides policy advice and analysis on domestic and international financial stability matters in consultation with OSFI, CDIC and the Bank of Canada.  It coordinates the Department's position on international regulatory and supervisory issues in international fora, including the Financial Stability Board, the G7 and the G20.  The section supports corporate oversight by the Minister of CDIC and OSFI.

Payments Policy

This section provides policy advice and analysis on issues related to payments systems in Canada.  The section works with the Bank of Canada to oversee the Canadian Payments Association's core clearing and settlement systems. The section is responsible for providing policy advice on retail payments systems and matters related to debit and credit cards.

Financial Crimes – International and Domestic

Work in this area is carried out by two sections, which develop policies and frameworks for combating money-laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The International Section coordinates Canada's international engagement in combating financial crime and terrorism financing. The Domestic Section is responsible for developing policy, legislation and regulations in respect of Canada's anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorist-financing regime, and supporting corporate oversight by the Minister of FINTRAC. Both sections work closely with FINTRAC, law enforcement and other government departments and agencies.

Financial Institutions Division

The Financial Institutions Division provides policy advice on the legislative, regulatory and treaty framework for banks, insurance companies, and other federally regulated institutions in Canada to support stability, competition and utility in the financial sector for the benefit of Canadians.  The Division advises on the design and implementation of the framework, structural issues, consumer affairs, and international trade and relations activities related to financial services. It actively engages with a wide range of domestic and international stakeholders and partners.  The Division is made up of four sections.

Framework Policy

This section is responsible for providing advice on the legislative and regulatory framework governing federally regulated financial institutions.  It engages with federal agencies and a wide range of sector stakeholders.  The section provides advice on Ministerial approvals in conjunction with OSFI for significant transactions such as mergers, acquisitions, and changes of control and ownership. The section performs research and analysis on market trends, and monitors business developments and operations, including financial performance.

Strategic Initiatives

This section focuses on projects and strategic files that have implications for the structure of financial institutions and the financial services sector, including competition and innovations to promote efficiency and utility. The section leads on federal-provincial engagement and oversees the federal credit union framework.

Consumer Affairs

This section oversees the federal legislative and regulatory regime that applies to financial consumers and actively monitors trends and developments in the sector that impact financial consumers. The section coordinates closely with the FCAC on oversight, compliance and consumer education initiatives, including financial literacy, and supports corporate oversight by the Minister of FCAC.

Financial Services and Trade Relations

This section is responsible for Canada's multilateral and bilateral relations with foreign governments in the area of financial services.  This includes negotiating and administering trade and investment agreements and managing strategic dialogues with other countries.  The section monitors and analyzes the activities of Canadian financial institutions abroad and the role of foreign players in Canada, and works to maximize the benefits of internationalization, while supporting strong prudential regulation.

Funds Management Division

The Funds Management Division provides policy advice on the federal government's borrowing and treasury operations, in consultation with the Bank of Canada as fiscal agent of the Government, and on financial market developments. The Division is made up of three sections.

Debt Management

This section provides policy advice relating to the government's market debt strategy and treasury operations, directs and oversees the implementation of the borrowing program, and prepares reports on debt management for tabling in Parliament.  

Reserves 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 prepares reports on reserves management for tabling in Parliament.

Crown Corporations and Currency

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.

Capital Markets Division

The Capital Markets Division provides policy advice on the management of systemic risk and enforcement efforts under federal jurisdiction within the overall structure of securities regulation in Canada.  It provides advice on housing market vulnerabilities, the housing finance framework, and on capital markets matters more generally.

Securities Regulations and Enforcement

This section supports the establishment of the Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System with participating provinces and territories. The section supports the Executive Council responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Integrated Market Enforcement Team program. Key activities include conducting research, providing policy advice, and developing legislation and regulations, in consultation with CSTO, other financial sector regulators, and private sector stakeholders.

Markets Policy

This section is responsible for monitoring and advising on domestic and international developments in capital markets and formulating policy responses on issues such as access to financing, exchanges, securitization markets, derivatives, new instruments, and investment activity.  It works closely with federal and provincial regulatory agencies in coordinating initiatives, and supports the development of policy proposals on capital markets-related issues in international fora, including the G7, G20, and the Financial Stability Board (FSB).  

Housing Finance

The section is responsible for providing analysis and policy advice on the housing finance framework, monitoring housing sector risks and advising on legislative and regulatory initiatives to support stability and competition. It advises on housing finance programs delivered through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and supports corporate governance of CMHC.