Financial Planning Standards Council Comments on Expert Committee's Recommendations: Proposes Accredited Professional Body for Financial Planning

TORONTO, June 20, 2016 /CNW/ - Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) has commented on the preliminary recommendations of the Ontario government-appointed Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives. 

While FPSC is supportive of several of the Committee's initial policy recommendations, it is proposing several modifications that will be more in keeping with the Expert Committee's principles, particularly those related to regulatory efficiency and enhancing regulatory cohesion and consistency.

According to Cary List, FPSC's President and CEO, "While FPSC agrees that regulation is required for those holding out as financial planners by way of titles or described services, the Committee's principles can be best achieved with a professional body accreditation model."

Under FPSC's proposed amendments to the Committee's recommendations, the newly formed Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) would assume authority for accrediting a professional body for financial planning. The professional body would then be responsible for oversight of individuals authorized to use the "financial planner" title, and for granting the corresponding financial planner designation. This accredited professional body would have authority for standard-setting, policy- and rule-making, enforcement and oversight of all those using the financial planner title, while IIROC, the MFDA, and the statutory regulators would continue to regulate any financial planning activity already within their respective jurisdictions, as they do today. FSRA would be responsible for holding the professional body accountable for compliance with its obligations as a professional body, to ensure consumers are appropriately protected. This model of accreditation of professional bodies could be expanded to include other financial services professions, including title restrictions and corresponding designations.

"FPSC's proposed approach addresses our concerns with the Committee's recommendations (i.e. the fact that standards and infrastructure already exist; duplicative and potentially inconsistent regulation; and perpetuation of consumer confusion), while better meeting the Committee's objective of leveraging the existing regulatory framework," says List.

In the 2015 consultation paper that proposed the establishment of the FSRA, the Expert Panel leading this consultation recommended that "FSRA be given authority over, and responsibility for, oversight of any self-regulatory body operating within the financial services sector in Ontario (not otherwise overseen by another statutory body)." This recommendation followed from the Auditor General's 2014 review of FSCO, wherein she suggested FSCO should "explore opportunities to transfer more responsibility for protecting the public interest and enhancing public confidence to new or established self-governing industry associations, with oversight by FSCO." FPSC's proposed approach is entirely consistent with those recommendations.

The Expert Committee is expected to review stakeholder input over the summer and produce their final policy recommendations to the Ontario Ministry of Finance this fall.

FPSC's formal submission to the Expert Committee can be found here.

About Financial Planning Standards Council
FPSC was incorporated in 1995, then as the Financial Planners Standards Council of Canada, specifically for the purposes of resolving the problems identified in the Committee's interim report—namely, the lack of consistency in qualifications and competence of financial planners, and the consumer confusion arising from the multitude of financial planning-related designations being used in Canada at the time. FPSC was founded by allied and competing organizations from virtually all sectors of the financial services industry, including accounting, banking, insurance, securities, credit unions, and financial planning. Through FPSC, these organizations worked together to bring the internationally renowned CFP® designation to Canada to serve as the designation representing financial planning competence and professionalism for Canadians.

Today FPSC oversees nearly 17,000 CFP professionals and 2,000 FPSC Level 1® Certificants in Financial Planning across Canada, including nearly 10,000 in Ontario alone. Taking into account FPSC's direct partnership with the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF), which is the only organization in Quebec authorized to grant diplomas in financial planning, there are more than 23,500 financial planners in Canada who have met, and continue to meet, FPSC's standards.

SOURCE Financial Planning Standards Council

For further information: Caroline Horcher, Manager, Public Affairs, Financial Planning Standards Council,, 416.593.8587, ext. 232, or 1.800.305.9886


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