The federal banking supervisor establishes definitive protocols concerning integrity and protection.

Regulators Set Guidelines for Bank Security and Integrity

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), Canada’s federal banking regulator, has released final guidelines on how it expects banks to protect themselves against foreign interference and other risks related to integrity and security. These guidelines come after the federal government expanded the regulator’s mandate last June to cover these areas, and have also led to an increased focus on preventing money laundering.

The guidelines cover a range of expectations, including ensuring the “good character” of board members and senior leadership, conducting background checks on employees, and managing access to buildings, servers, and other key infrastructure. According to Tolga Yalkin, assistant superintendent of OSFI, while there is some overlap with previous guidelines, these new guidelines represent a fundamental change as they comprehensively define the concepts of integrity and security.

One of the key expectations is for banks to promote a culture that emphasizes ethical behavior and to protect employees from threats. Additionally, there are clear guidelines on reporting any incidents or events that may relate to undue influence, foreign interference, or malicious activity to law enforcement. Banks have a year to comply with all of the new and expanded expectations, but the need to report incidents is in effect immediately.

Yalkin stressed the importance of these guidelines in fortifying the financial system and maintaining public confidence. He stated, “The public’s confidence in the financial sector really does hinge on the integrity and security of, ultimately, the financial institutions that make it up.”

Overall, these guidelines aim to strengthen the integrity and security of the banking sector and ensure that banks are equipped to handle potential threats. By setting clear expectations and promoting a culture of ethical behavior, OSFI hopes to maintain public trust in the financial system.  

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