FPSC Calls on Canadians to Hire Smart with Better "Hiring Literacy"
TORONTO, Feb. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Financial Planning Standards Council
(FPSC®) is urging Canadians to improve their 'hiring literacy' when engaging
financial planners. This is a time when Canadians could greatly benefit
from competent and ethical advice and guidance for their financial
Unfortunately, many Canadians operate on blind trust when choosing whom
to engage for this assistance. According to new research conducted by
The Strategic Counsel on behalf of FPSC, far too many Canadians are
misinformed about the required qualifications and ethical obligations
of their planners. For instance, an overwhelming majority (70%) of
survey respondents falsely believe that individuals must be licensed in
order to call themselves a financial planner.
As part of its campaign to encourage Canadians to hire smart, FPSC (the
standards setting and enforcement body that oversees CFP® certification) is sharing this research to debunk some of the myths
Canadians hold regarding financial advice.
"With the exception of Quebec, anyone in any province can call
themselves a financial planner without meeting any minimum
qualifications or standards," says Cary List, President & CEO, FPSC.
"We strongly encourage Canadians to seek advice for their financial
planning needs, but also to make sure they hire smart. Poor 'hiring
literacy' can put Canadians at risk of engaging individuals who may not
be appropriately qualified to meet their needs; individuals who may
deliberately or inadvertently misrepresent their qualifications as well
as their ethical and professional commitments" adds List.
MYTH: "All financial advisors are accountable to an oversight body which
ensures they provide ethical and competent service to their clients." More than half (54%) of respondents falsely believe this statement to
be true. Nearly one third (29%) are 'not sure' and fewer than 1 in 5
(17%) respondents disagreed with this statement.
FACT: Financial advice is largely unregulated in Canada. To sell products, advisors must have appropriate licenses; however,
when it comes to financial planning advice, there is no government
enforced standard or mandatory professional oversight for competent,
ethical and professional behavior. Current regulation is piece-meal and
is product based (i.e. stocks, mutual funds, insurance). Only
individuals who have voluntarily stepped up to earn a professional
credential such as the CFP designation are held accountable to a
professional oversight body with standards for ethical and competent
financial planning advice and service.
MYTH: "Individuals must be licensed to call themselves financial
planners. There are strict regulations in all provinces regarding who
can refer to themselves as financial planners". 70% believe individuals must be licensed to call themselves "financial
planner". And 42% of Canadians believe there are strict regulations in
all provinces regarding who can refer to themselves as financial
FACT: With the exception of Quebec, anyone in Canada can call themselves
a financial planner without meeting any requirements for competence or
ethics. Credentials that ensure high standards for competence and ethical
behavior such as the CFP designation are strictly voluntary.
Individuals who earn the CFP credential must meet rigorous standards of professional responsibility and demonstrate competence through rigorous standardized national
examinations before earning the CFP credential. After earning the
designation, CFP professionals must commit to continuing education,
professional standards of ethics and competent performance and are held
accountable to FPSC's professional oversight.
HIRE SMART: "Canadians put themselves in the driver's seat when they hire smart.
There are many professionals who offer highly competent and ethical
service, always putting their clients first. But in absence of common
national standards that require all financial planners to meet
professional qualifications and be accountable to oversight, Canadians
must protect themselves by ensuring they're hiring appropriate
qualified and credentialed professionals. It's critical they ask the
right questions of their potential planner, and know what the red flags
are," says List.
In encouraging Canadians to learn more about what to look for in a
financial planner and what to expect from a professional, ethical
engagement, FPSC offers the 10 Tips for Choosing a Planner, Questions to Ask A Planner and other resources at www.fpsc.ca. Additionally, the Standards of Professional Responsibility provides a guide for consumers of what to expect from a CFP
*ABOUT THE RESEARCH: The Strategic Counsel conducted a survey among an online panel of
English Canadians (outside Quebec) over the age of 18 who have used
some financial planning services offered by financial advisors, and
those who have not used financial planning services from financial
advisors. The survey was conducted between September 11th, 2011 and
September 30th 2011. This panel has been established to measure the
value of financial planning over a five-year period. These survey
results are based on the responses of 1,079 respondents.
FPSC Executives Available to Discuss:
In absence of regulation, how can Canadians equip themselves with the
know-how and 'hiring' literacy when engaging planners? What should they
look for, ask about, check into?
What are some of the professional and ethical obligations expected of a
About Financial Planning Standards Council
Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC®) is a not-for-profit organization which develops, promotes and enforces
professional standards in financial planning through Certified
Financial Planner® certification, and raises Canadians' awareness of the importance of
financial planning. FPSC's vision is to see Canadians improve their
lives by engaging in financial planning. Currently, there are more than
17,500 CFP professionals in Canada and more than 140,000 CFP
certificants in 24 countries worldwide. See www.fpsc.ca for more information.
CFP®, Certified Financial Planner® and CFP (with flame logo)® are trademarks owned outside the U.S. by Financial Planning Standards
Board Ltd. Financial Planning Standards Council is the marks licensing
authority for the CFP marks in Canada, through agreement with FPSB.
FPSC, FPSC and logo and Financial Planning Standards Council are
trademarks of Financial Planning Standards Council
©2012 Financial Planning Standards Council. All rights reserved.
SOURCE Financial Planning Standards Council
For further information:
and to arrange interviews please contact:
Chadnick Communications (for FPSC)
416.631.7437 or firstname.lastname@example.org
416.593.8587 x 235 or email@example.com