Better know a Canadian functionary: the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and its antecedents

The first efforts made in regulating the financial industry at a federal level in Canada started when the office of the Superintendent of Insurance was established in 1875. The federal Department of Finance then concentrated most of its regulatory attention to the insurance industry until the failure of the Home Bank of Canada in 1923 forced the government to appoint an Inspector-General of Banks the next year, following the advice of a Royal Commission into the collapse chaired by Harrison McKeown, the Chairman of the Board of Railway Commissioners.

This arrangement held up until 1985, when the financial regulatory system came under scrutiny following the collapse of two mid-sized regional banks, the Northland Bank of Canada and the Canadian Commercial Bank, within months of each other. In 1987, the two regulators were merged to form the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, who reports to the Minister of Finance.

The Superintendents of Insurance were:

J.B. Cherriman, 1875-85.
William Fitzgerald, 1885-1914.
George D. Finlayson, 1914-48.
R.W. Warwick, 1948-53.
Kenneth R. MacGregor, 1953-64.
Richard Humphrys, 1964-82.
R.M. Hammond, 1982-86.

The Inspectors-General of Banks were:

Charles S. Tompkins, 1924-44.
Clayton F. Elderkin, 1944-66.
W. Elwynne Scott, 1966-72.
William Kennett, 1972-86.

The Superintendents of Financial Institutions have been:

Michael Mackenzie, 1987-94.
John R.V. Palmer, 1994-2001.
Nicholas Le Pan, 2001-06.
Julie Dickson, 2006-14.
Jeremy Rudin, 2014-now.


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