Ontario strengthens consumer protection by regulating who can use Financial Planner and Financial Advisor titles
FSRA’s Financial Professionals Title Protection Rule to be proclaimed into force on March 28, 2022
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) announced today that the Financial Professionals Title Protection (FPTP) Rule and the Amended FSRA Fee Rule have now been approved by the Minister of Finance.
The Rules, and related guidance, will come into effect once the Financial Professionals Title Protection Act, 2019 and related amendments to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario Act, 2016 are proclaimed into force on March 28, 2022.
This initiative will be 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 prior to and on January 1, 2020 ample time to comply with the framework following its implementation. Those commencing use of these titles after January 1, 2020 will have to get credentials from a FSRA-approved credentialing body immediately.
“Until now, there has been no regulation of the usage of Financial Planner or Financial Advisor titles. This has contributed to confusion among consumers, and questions about the expertise of individuals offering financial planning and advisory services,” says Huston Loke, Executive Vice President, Market Conduct at FSRA. “Deciding how to invest your money is complicated and emotional and requires expertise and good judgement. This change is long-overdue and offers something consumers have been asking for: clarity and confidence when working with their financial professional.”
Once this initiative is implemented, consumers who work with a Financial Planner or Financial Advisor will have confidence that they are dealing with an individual who has a minimum standard of education, is being actively supervised by an approved credentialing body and is subject to a complaints and discipline process. It will also offer consumers greater clarity by minimizing confusion around the wide array of titles and credentials used by individuals in the financial services marketplace.
Individuals using the Financial Planner or Financial Advisor title will need to hold an approved credential from a FSRA-approved credentialing body, will be required to meet minimum standards of education, and abide by a code of conduct. This will help promote consistency, professionalism, and confidence among those using the titles.
By leveraging existing requirements already administered by licensing and professional designation bodies, Financial Planner and Financial Advisor title protection in Ontario will significantly strengthen consumer protection while minimizing regulatory burden.
- More information on how the Financial Professionals Title Protection Framework in Ontario will work, including transition periods and titles covered, is available here: Backgrounder: Financial Professional Title Protection in Ontario.
- FSRA is in discussions with organizations that have expressed interest in applying as a credentialing body. FSRA will begin to announce approved credentialing bodies after the related legislation has been proclaimed into force.
- FSRA requires credentialing bodies to have robust supervision processes and a code of conduct in place that requires Financial Planner and Financial Advisor credential holders to put the client’s interest first and ensure the fair treatment of consumers.
- FSRA welcomes existing professional / designation bodies to apply as a credentialing body under the framework. Those interested in applying should contact [email protected] and visit FSRA’s Financial Planners and Financial Advisors industry page for more information and for a copy of the Credentialing Body and FP/FA Credential Application Form.
- View the Administration of Applications Guidance and Supervisory Framework Guidance.
FSRA continues to work on behalf of all stakeholders, including consumers, to ensure financial safety, fairness, and choice for everyone.
Learn more at www.fsrao.ca.
For media inquiries or to request an interview:
Senior Media Relations and Digital Officer
Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
Email: [email protected]