TORONTO, April 27, 2017 /CNW/ - In the 2017 Ontario Budget, released today, Finance Minister Charles Sousa expressed his commitment to considering the recommendations of the Ontario Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives (the Expert Committee) in the context of the ongoing transformation of Ontario's financial services regulatory system. The Expert Committee's final report and its recommendations had been released in March 2017.
"Advocis is fully supportive of initiatives that promote consumers' welfare and best interest, as well as access to professional financial advice," says Greg Pollock, president and CEO of Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada.
In keeping with the Expert Committee's recommendations, Sousa announced the government's intention to work with regulatory partners over the coming year to "close the gap" that currently allows those in the financial planning and advice industry to work without regulatory oversight or professional proficiency requirements. He noted that the government would work with regulators and other relevant stakeholders to restrict the use of titles related to financial planning and advice, and would respond to the report's recommendations to develop a central registry of people who provide financial planning and advisory services. He also said the government will study the feasibility of a universal statutory best interest duty, and that the government fully supports the report's recommendations for actively improving financial literacy in Ontario. The budget also outlined plans for more effective enforcement of investment industry regulations.
"We are pleased that the government is moving forward on many of the recommendations from the Expert Committee, which in many cases mirror the position that Advocis has been advocating for years, and we applaud the Expert Committee's recognition that the professional services provided by financial advisors and planners are not product-driven, but holistic in nature," says Pollock. "We welcome the government's plans to improve oversight of the financial advice and planning professions and to restrict the use of titles, as this will ultimately lead to a stronger profession and more protection for Canadian consumers."
The government will be consulting with Ontario's financial services regulators and relevant stakeholders to determine what specific actions to take in each of the areas being considered for reform, and Advocis looks forward to being part of that process.
"We at Advocis look forward to working with the government on any working groups that it establishes in order to ensure that all Canadian consumers have access to reliable, professional financial advice," says Pollock.
About Advocis: Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, is the association of choice for financial advisors and planners. With more than 12,000 members in 40 chapters across the country, Advocis is the definitive voice of the profession, advocating for professionalism and consumer protection.
SOURCE Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada
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