(From the October 2022 Edition of eFORUM)
By Wendy Horrobin
Consumers and investors turn to financial professionals to help them make sound, informed decisions about their savings and investments. As a provincial regulator of financial services, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) now requires individuals using the Financial Planner or Financial Advisor titles to meet minimum standards, so consumers have confidence that the individual they are dealing with has a minimum standard of education, is being actively supervised by an approved credentialing body and is subject to a complaints and discipline process.
Financial Planner and Financial Advisor title protection in Ontario is an important and positive change for the industry. It helps to promote consistency and professionalism among those individuals using the titles. Officially being able to use the Financial Planner or Financial Advisor titles enables financial services professionals to communicate their value to consumers and validate their education and expertise.
Here’s what you need to know about Ontario’s Financial Professionals Title Protection Framework:
- Individuals using the Financial Planner and Financial Advisor title, or similar titles that could reasonably be confused with them, must hold a credential from an FSRA-approved credentialing body;
- FSRA requires credentialing bodies to have robust supervision processes and a code of conduct in place that requires credential holders to put the client’s interest first;
- Existing requirements already administered by licensing and professional designation bodies are being leveraged, which mitigates duplication of regulatory requirements on individual Financial Planner and Financial Advisor title users; and
- This initiative is being phased in over time. FSRA’s transition periods – four years for Financial Planners and two years for Financial Advisors – provide individuals who were using these titles on or before January 1, 2020 ample time to comply with the framework following its implementation. This chart can help Financial Planners and Financial Advisors determine if the transition period applies to them.
For more information on the implementation of Financial Planner and Financial Advisor title protection in Ontario, including FSRA’s Financial Professionals Title Protection Rule and related Guidance, transition periods and titles covered, visit FSRA’s Industry page.
Wendy Horrobin is Head, Licensing and Risk Assessment Market Conduct at FSRA