The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today published its annual Corporate Finance Branch Report, an important resource to help issuers and their advisors comply with their reporting obligations. Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report also provides issuers with guidance on additional considerations related to the impact of COVID-19.
The report provides issuers with guidance on trends and issues identified during compliance reviews. Key areas of focus in fiscal 2020 included MD&A disclosure, mining technical reports, the use of non-GAAP financial measures, forward-looking information and executive compensation. The report also outlines the Branch’s operational and policy work.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to underscore the importance of issuers providing timely and transparent disclosures of the impact on their business,” said Sonny Randhawa, Director, Corporate Finance at the OSC. “Issuers should review this report to better understand our expectations related to the impacts of COVID-19 on their disclosure and other regulatory obligations.”
In addition, the report provides an update on the progress made on reducing burden for issuers, a key focus for the OSC. To date, eight of the 13 burden reduction recommendations for issuers have been completed and many of the remaining recommendations are on target for their estimated completion date. Key recommendations completed in 2020 include a program that allows issuers to file an entire prospectus confidentially for staff review and the adoption of a pre-filing review for mining reporting issuers seeking staff views on certain technical disclosure documents.
OSC Staff Notice 51-731 Corporate Finance Branch 2020 Annual Report can be viewed on the OSC website.
The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca.