TORONTO, March 16, 2017: Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) is pleased to comment on the final report and recommendations (‘the Report”) of the Ontario Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives (the Expert Committee).
“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,” says FPSC President and CEO Cary List.
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. FPSC is, therefore, pleased that the Expert Committee’s Report explicitly recommends that the title “Financial Planner” be restricted, and that only those who are professionally certified be permitted to use the title.
“CFP® professionals care deeply about the need for a clear duty of care to their clients. In a poll that 2,870 CFP professionals responded to in February 2017, 97% of respondents agreed that all advisors who provide financial advice to retail investors should owe a professional duty of care and loyalty to their clients,” says Mr. List. “This is consistent with the recommendations in the Report.”
The Report represents an important step forward, but much work remains to be done. FPSC looks forward to lending its expertise to the government in the months ahead as they work to implement policies that are in keeping with the Report’s principles and recommendations, and are in the best interests of consumers.
“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,” says Mr. List.
FPSC commends the Expert Committee for its work, and the government for supporting this consultation process and for their continued commitment to enhancing protection for consumers in Ontario.
About Financial Planning Standards Council
As a professional standards-setting and certification body working in the public interest, FPSC’s purpose is to drive value and instill confidence in financial planning. FPSC ensures those it certifies – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals and FPSC Level 1® Certificants in Financial Planning – meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics. With FPSC’s formal partnership with the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF), which is the only organization authorized to certify Financial Planners in Québec, there are more than 23,500 financial planners in Canada who have met, and continue to meet, FPSC’s standards. More information is available at fpsc.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, Public Affairs
Financial Planning Standards Council
416.593.8587, ext. 232 or 1.800.305.9886