The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan released draft regulations for its local rules relating to title protection, which are based on Ontario’s framework of requiring approval for credentialing bodies (“CBs”) and their financial planner / financial advisor credentials but which recognizes provincial distinctions. The draft regulation establishes approval criterial for CBs as well as for credentials in order for a person to be permitted to use the title of financial planner or financial advisor. Examples of baseline competency profiles are set out in the consultation, including expected client outcomes when dealing with retail clients. The regulations include a “best interest” standard of care, including that an FP or FA must put the client’s interest first when making suitability determinations. The FCAA is seeking comments on a number of specific questions, including examples of titles that could reasonably be confusing with the title of financial planner or financial advisor. The transition period for persons utilizing the title of financial planner or financial advisor without a recognized credential is proposed to be four years for the financial planner title and two years for the financial advisor title (from the date the regulation comes into force, and only if the title was already in use as of July 3, 2020).
Overview of the Council’s Comments:
The CAC appreciates the statement made by the FCAA relating to the importance of harmonizing its legislation and regulation with that of other jurisdictions to reduce regulatory burden and enhance compliance. We broadly support the framework adopted in the province of Ontario, and the CAC suggests that the Proposed Regulations be as consistent as possible with the title protection frameworks in other Canadian jurisdictions, prevent duplication as well as provide reciprocity for credentialing bodies already recognized in another such jurisdiction.
The CAC is strongly supportive of the FCAA’s view that investors’ interests should not be subservient to the interests of others, and of the incorporation of such best interest standard when making suitability determinations into the Proposed Regulations. The CAC supports efforts to regulate the use of the financial planner and financial advisor titles in Saskatchewan and other jurisdictions as an investor protection measure. As noted above, it is important that jurisdictions implementing such frameworks include measures for reciprocity to reduce the regulatory burden, including application fees, relating to the application process for credentialing bodies and recognized credentials in multiple jurisdictions.