Canadian regulator seeks feedback on crypto asset exposure disclosure requirements

The Canadian Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is following a Basel model for its disclosure requirements.

Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has opened a consultation period on crypto asset disclosure requirements for federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs). The consultation was foreseen in the 2023 federal budget, but its timing is tied to a similar enquiry initiated by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

The Canadian government stated in March that it would draw up crypto exposure guidelines for banks “to help protect Canadians’ savings and the security of our financial sector.” The provision is found in section 5.4 of the budget, titled “Combatting Financial Crime.” The budget also stated that federally regulated pension funds will be required to disclose their crypto exposure to the OSFI — no consultation is required.

Canadian pension funds had a painful experience with crypto in 2022. The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Canada’s second-largest pension fund, lost CA$200 million ($154.7 million) in the Celsius bankruptcy. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan wrote off $95 million in FTX and FTX.US investment in November 2022 and stated in April that it was swearing off crypto for good. CPP Investments, Canada’s largest pension fund, canceled all crypto research in December.

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The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) announced its consultation on banks’ crypto asset exposure in October. Commenters can “provide feedback on BCBS proposals, ensuring guidelines align with the Canadian context,” the OSFI said. In its consultation, the OSFI specifically asks for commenters to appraise and enhance the BCBS disclosure framework. Responses are due by January 31, 2024.

The OSFI concluded a consultation on liquidity requirements for banks with crypto assets in September. It too was coordinated with a BIS consultation.

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