FCAC Issues Its Business Plan for 2020-2021

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The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) recently posted its 2020-2021 Business Plan (Plan) which set out its priorities and planned activities to protect financial consumers.

New Vision and Mantra

The 2020-2021 Plan is the first issued under Commissioner Robertson’s tenure and is guided by FCAC’s newly articulated vision : to be a leader and innovator in financial consumer protection.  To execute on its vision, FCAC will integrate its regulatory, consumer education and financial literary roles to ensure alignment with its mandate to protect consumers.  This effort will be supported by a new organizational structure and the new operational mantra “One Mandate, One Team”.

Strategic Priorities

1. Enhance regulatory effectiveness        

Objective

Implement new federal financial consumer protection framework

Activities

  • Update internal policies and procedures, including Supervision Framework
  • Support regulatory work for new framework to take effect
  • Consult with regulated entities on guidance, and 
  • Assist regulated entities in their compliance efforts

Objective

Modernize information management and technology tools to improve monitoring and oversight activities

Activities

  • Introduce new case management system to centralize data and streamline processes  
  • Develop business intelligence strategy to facilitate information-sharing and decision-making

Objective

Conduct risk-based and proactive supervision

Activities

  • Complete market conduct profiles of select financial institutions 
  • Conduct sales practices and complaint handling procedures reviews of select small- and medium-sized banks (results to be published in 2021–2022) 
  • Implement data intake and prioritization process to enhance  enforcement work

Objective

Create secretariat to manage quasi-judicial proceedings and external relations

Activities

  • Publish updated guidelines  to clarify FCAC’s roles and responsibilities related to investigative process and Commissioner’s role in adjudicative process
  • Develop policies and procedures related to Commissioner’s new powers
  • Enhance collaboration between Commissioner’s office and domestic and foreign regulators, committees and government agencies

2. Ensure FCAC is an insightful and effective authority in financial education

Objective

Renew Canada’s Financial Literacy Strategy 

Activity

  • Conduct research and consult with stakeholders to identify new target group.  (new strategy to be launched in the Fall of 2020)

Objective

Provide innovative and effective educational resources

Activities

  • Measure impact of current resources and identify gaps to inform development of new resources
  • Identifying new delivery channels in consultation with stakeholders to extend reach of educational tools and programs 
  • Identify best practices to incorporate educational insights into supervisory requirements

Objective

Build expertise and capacity to respond to and anticipate new developments and emerging trends 

Activities

  • Continue to contribute research and expertise to financial consumer policy discussions, including in the areas of consumer-directed banking, an oversight framework for payment service operators, and the protection of consumer data
  • Support the creation of a new federal Canadian Consumer Advocate

Objective

Establish a modernized and integrated approach to research and policy  

Activities

  • Develop a road map
  • Establish a process to identify, prioritize and monitor emerging trends relevant to financial consumers
  • Conduct original research to gain behavioural insights to improve financial decision-making

Objective

Establish an Agency-wide approach to communication, outreach and engagement   

Activities

  • Develop three-year public affairs strategy to position Agency as a leader and innovator in financial consumer protection
  • Launch campaign to mark 10th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month (November 2020)
  • Develop crisis communication plan 
  • Review FCAC web pages

3. Invest in the future

Objective

Build expertise and capacity to respond to and anticipate new developments and emerging trends 

Activities

  • Continue to contribute research and expertise to financial consumer policy  development, including in areas such as consumer-directed banking, the creation of an oversight framework for payment service operators, and the protection of consumer data
  • Support the creation of a new Canadian Consumer Advocate

Objective

Establishing a comprehensive and integrated approach to FCAC’s research and policy function

Activities

  • Develop road map 
  • Establish a process to identify, prioritize and monitor emerging trends related to financial consumers
  • Continue to conduct original research to gain behavioural insights to improve financial decision-making 

Objective

Establish an integrated approach to communication, outreach and engagement

Activities

  • Develop three-year public affairs strategy to reach target audiences and promote use of consistent messaging to ensure brand alignment
  • Launch campaign to mark 10th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month (November 2020)
  • Develop crisis communication plan 
  • Review  FCAC web pages with a view of improving the user experience

Objective

Build the foundation to become a modern Agency

Activities

  • Implement new organizational structure to achieve greater strategic focus (structure to  include new Deputy and Assistant Commissioner positions)
  • Investigate how to modernize workplace and leveraging digital technologies to encourage collaboration and mobility. Consideration will be given to opening a  Toronto office
  • Implement data and analytics strategy to improve how FCAC accesses, collects, uses, safeguards and shares data <
  • Develop evaluation plan to assess  Agency’s programs, initiatives and policy work
  • Review how to apportion FCAC’s operating budget among regulated entities and develop path forward based on industry consultations
  • Develop and publish five-year strategic plan to be achieved during new Commissioner’s mandate. 
  • Update intranet to improve employee

4. Capitalize on the diversity of FCAC’s talent

Objective

Attract, develop and retain a highly skilled, diverse and engaged workforce 

Activities

  • Implement Public Service Employee Survey Action Plan for 2019–22.  (Areas of focus include leadership, performance and development, values and ethics and employee engagement)
  • Develop strategic recruitment and branding initiatives to enhance FCAC’s appeal to high-caliber talent
  • Strengthen talent management with increased focus on learning and development

Objective

Strengthening the foundational elements of a healthy, respectful and enabling workplace 

Activities

  • Continue promoting workplace values and ethics and increase awareness of  importance of mental health
  • Establish official languages and employment equity action plans
  • Update organizational structure, job classifications and terms and conditions of employment

Planned Financial and Human Resources

FCAC has undertaken not to increase its planned spending for 2020-2021.  As a result, its budget will remain at $38.4 million for this fiscal year.  Its forecast does however provide for increases in the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 fiscal years to $41.1 million and $42.1 million respectively.

Despite committing to a flat budget for next year, FCAC will increase its bench strength by approximately 60 full-time equivalents (FTEs) , bringing its total number of FTEs to 2015 from 145.  The new FTEs will largely be split between the supervision team (22 FTEs) and the internal services team (30 FTEs). 

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