OSC chair Maureen Jensen has announced that the OSC plans to
launch an innovation hub for fintech entities. "OSC
Launchpad" will be the first fintech hub for a Canadian
Securities regulation in Canada impacts a number of fintech
business models (including companies offering online advising,
peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding platforms and angel investor
organizations). The OSC had also previously issued a notice on
peer-to-peer lending, inviting those operating in this sector to
discuss with OSC Staff and reminding prospective marketplace
lenders that certain prospectus and registration requirements may
be applicable to them, depending on their business model.
OSC Launchpad will be staffed by a dedicated team who will work
directly with fintech companies to help them navigate Ontario's
securities laws. The OSC says it will work to tailor regulation and
oversight for fintech companies to foster innovation, and to reduce
regulatory burden, while ensuring investors remain protected.
OSC Launchpad arrives as many jurisdictions (including the UK,
Singapore and Australia) launch their own "regulatory
sandboxes" seeking to create a regulatory "safe
space" in which businesses can test innovative products and
services without immediately incurring all the normal regulatory
consequences of engaging in such activity. In Canada, the
Competition Bureau is also in the process of completing a market
study focused on how innovation in the fintech sector is impacting
consumers and businesses, with the results intended to be published
in the spring of 2017, seeking to determine whether there is a need
for "regulatory reform to promote greater competition while
maintaining consumer confidence in the sector."
For more information on regulatory sandboxes in other
jurisdictions, please see the report "FinTech in Canada: British Columbia
Edition" co-authored by the Digital Finance Institute and
McCarthy Tétrault. For more information about our firm's
fintech expertise, please see our
Fintech group's page.
In Ontario Securities Commission v. Tiffin, the Ontario Court of Justice clarified the limits of the definition of "securities" under s.1(1) of the Securities Act, as it relates to promissory notes. The defendant in the case was charged with trading in securities without being registered and while prohibited, and without filing a prospectus.
The OSC has issued a press release advising stakeholders that Ontario securities law may apply to any use of distributed ledger technologies, such as blockchain, as part of financial products or service offerings.
The use of electronic signatures is becoming increasingly commonplace in commercial transactions, as individuals and businesses capitalize on the administrative efficiency afforded by today’s digital world.
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