Ontario Moves To Regulate Financial Planners And Advisors2 min read
Ontario’s financial regulator says anyone using the “financial planner” or “advisor” title in the province is going to be overseen by a credentialing body and subject to a complaints and discipline process.
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Ontario said the new regulations will also require people using the titles to meet a minimum standard of education and abide by a professional code of conduct.
The higher standards and accountability mechanisms come after consumers have long raised concerns about a lack of oversight in the industry and the need to ensure that people using the advisor and planner titles have the appropriate expertise.
The move is meant to bring consistency, clarity and transparency to the financial services industry, while helping investors ensure they are getting advice from trained professionals who will be held accountable for any missteps, said the regulator.
The Government of Ontario said in its 2019 budget that it would introduce legislation to list the use of the financial planner and advisor titles to those who obtained credentials from bodies approved by the FSRA.
The new standards developed with the feedback collected over the last two years will come into effect on March 28 of this year but be phased in over time for some financial professionals.
FSRA will give financial planners and advisors who were using the title before Jan. 1, 2020, time to comply. Financial planners using the title before then will have a four-year transition period, while advisors who were using the title will have two years to comply with the new standards.
Anyone who began using those titles after that date must immediately get credentials from one of the FSRA-approved credentialing bodies that will be named in the coming weeks.