The Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) says the final report by the Ontario Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives is an important step toward protecting consumers.
The Ontario expert committee’s final report submitted to the government last November but released this week, explicitly recommends that the title “Financial Planner” be restricted, and that only those who are professionally certified be permitted to use the title.
“The Expert Committee’s Report represents an important victory for Canadian consumers by providing certainty that the people who hold themselves them out as financial planners have recognized qualifications, direct accountability to a governing body for professional conduct, and ethical grounding to put their clients’ interests first,” said FPSC President and CEO Cary List in a statement issued March 16.
Qualified, ethical and accountable
FPSC has long advocated for regulatory standards to ensure all those who use the title or hold themselves out as “financial planners” are qualified, ethical, overseen by and accountable to an appropriate professional body for their professional conduct.
The FPSC says while the report represents an important step forward, much work still remains to be done. FPSC says it looks forward to lending its expertise to the government in the months ahead as it works “to implement policies that are in keeping with the Report’s principles and recommendations, and are in the best interests of consumers,” says the statement.
Lack of regulatory standards creates confusion
“Financial planners play a critical role in the financial health of consumers. We appreciate that the Expert Committee recognized that the lack of regulatory standards for financial planning creates confusion and undermines the ability of consumers to make informed choices about their financial health,” added List.
Look for more on this topic in the April edition of The Insurance and Investment Journal.