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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Introduced on March 30 through Bill 13, the Financial Innovation Act (FIA), if passed, will create a regulatory sandbox for financial services and financial technology companies (Fintech) in Alberta (AB).

The FIA will require compliance with the following:

  • Application to enter Regulatory Sandbox: the eligibility criteria requires, amongst other things, that the entity has a physical presence in Alberta. The format and content of the application will be determined by the Minister.

  • Information and Privacy Commissioner: entity may be subject to exemption under certain conditions.

  • Certificate of acceptance: to be delivered by the Minister when all requirements are fulfilled.

  • Approval timelines: certificate of acceptance would likely be delivered within 90 days following receipt of a completed application.

  • Exemptions, terms, conditions and restrictions: an entity may be exempt from the requirements set out in certain regulations such as the ATB Financial Act, Credit Union Act, Financial Consumers Act, Loan and Trust Corporations Act.

  • Expiry and extension of expiry date of certificate of acceptance: the certificate of acceptance would likely have an expiry date of not more than 24 months from the issue date and a 12 months extension may be granted by the Minister after the expiry date.

  • Amendment or revocation of certificate of acceptance: the Minister may revoke a certificate of acceptance in specific cases including the omission of any material facts.

  • Voluntary exit from Regulatory Sandbox: possible prior to the expiry date of certificate of acceptance and by providing written notice to the Minister in the form and manner determined by the Minister.

To date, firms have benefited from exemptive relief to test their innovative products through the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) LaunchPad and the CSA Regulatory Sandbox.

Sandbox applications are scheduled to be open starting July 1, 2022.

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