Ministry of Finance Consultation on Financial Planners

April 16, 2018

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Ministry of Finance Consultation on Financial Planners

Letter Summary:

The Ministry of Finance is seeking specific input relating to restricting the use of the title “financial planner” and a proposal to create a central database of financial planners.  Currently, there are a number of different titles being used, and of the titles being used they may not reflect an individual’s qualifications or expertise, leading to a consumer protection concern.  The proposals would restrict the use of the title “financial planner” to persons holding a recognized financial planning credential.  

Overview of the Council’s Comments:

The council is supportive of the consultation process the Ministry is undertaking with respect to financial planning activities.  Standardizing the proficiency requirements to provide financial advice would help limit the potential for investors to receive improper advice.  We encourage the Ministry to corporate with other provinces and territories and self-regulatory organizations such as IIROC, to ensure that any measures taken will have universal application across the country.

The council believes that persons providing financial advice should be regulated, but not necessarily by a new regulatory body such as the FSRA.  The naming of one standards-setting monopoly over a wide area of financial services in Ontario may be suboptimal for investors.  Rather, the council would suggest the establishment of an independent standards-setting body comprised of many professional organizations overseen by existing regulators.