Rules under the recently modernized Credit Unions Act and the Cooperatives Act took effect on Jan. 1. The new rules are designed to help these organizations react and adapt to technological and competitive changes.
The recently enacted new acts replace outdated legislation and bring New Brunswick in-line with other jurisdictions across Canada, according to the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB).
“We have been working with these industries on updating these acts for a number of years,” said Étienne LeBoeuf, director of financial institutions at FCNB as well as designate superintendent of credit unions and designate inspector of cooperatives. “In bringing forward these changes, we looked at how to improve the effectiveness of the credit union regulatory structure while modernizing both acts to adapt to the realities of changes to technology, to cooperative models, to credit union needs, and to diversity in board membership.”
The changes to the Cooperatives Act include:
- streamlining the red tape for dealing with regulatory requirements;
- improving the ability to use electronic filing for reporting requirements;
- allowing the use of different financial instruments to adapt to changing markets; and
- making it easy for cooperatives to increase diversity on their boards.
The changes to the Credit Unions Act include:
- providing the regulator with rule-making authority to be more responsive to industry changes as well as being in a better position to support their members;
- reducing the cost of the regulatory functions without reducing oversight to ensure consumers are protected; and
- fostering an environment where credit unions are able to be more competitive in a changing landscape.
On June 14, 2019, the new Credit Union Act and Cooperatives Act received Royal Assent and the rules associated with these acts were publicized in the fall to allow for comments. As of Jan. 1, these two acts and their associated rules are in force and are being administered by FCNB.