Ontario mulls review of advisor governance

FSRA updates title reg proposal Keywords Financial planning,  Ontario,  Professions The reference to advisor oversight comes in a section of the update detailing the government’s efforts to push for a more robust Canada Pension Plan (CPP). It calls for an enhanced CPP, and suggests that if that effort fails, it will pursue a “made in Ontario” solution. In terms of private retirement savings efforts, the government says that, “We will be vigilant in our effort to help reduce the costs associated with investing and consider options such as enhancing the oversight of financial advisers.” “The government will examine recommendations by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which is looking at the structure of mutual fund fees, and consider more tailored regulation of financial advisers and planners,” it adds. “People who seek the assistance of financial planners expect access to sound, professional advice to ensure that their investment decisions best serve their financial goals. The government will investigate the merits of proceeding with more tailored regulation of financial planners. It will consider the appropriate regulatory framework for doing so, including possible reforms put forward by industry organizations,” it notes. Industry groups reacted positively to news. “While there were few details, Advocis is hopeful that the review will lead to a system of oversight akin to what has long been in place for lawyers, accountants and other professions,” it said in a statement. “We have been championing reforms to enhance the profession for more than a decade because it is the most efficient and effective way to improve consumer protection,” Greg Pollock, President and CEO of Advocis, in a release. Advocis notes that, currently, anyone can hold themselves out as a financial advisor regardless of their credentials. “This lack of oversight leaves consumers exposed to possible fraud or bad advice from unqualified advisors,” it says. “An initiative to ensure that all advisors have to meet and maintain standards, and that the unethical are unable to practice, would find wide support among all parties, consumers and financial advisors alike,” Pollock added. “We urge the government to proceed.” The Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planners, whose members include the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFPs), Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP) and Institut québécois de planification financiére (IQPF), is also supportive of a plan that would consider the professional self-regulation of financial planning in Ontario. “Formal recognition of financial planning as a profession, just as law, accounting, architecture and medicine are today, is the natural next and necessary step towards the development of a model that ensures consumers are appropriately served by financial planners from coast to coast to coast, irrespective of any other licensure regimes in which they work,” said Cary List, chairman of the Coalition and president & CEO of the Financial Planning Standards Council. The Ontario government is considering reviewing the governance of financial advisors in Ontario. While there were few details, the news was contained in the province’s fall economic update, delivered Thursday by Finance Minister Charles Sousa. James Langton Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news “Light planning” could expand access to financial advice FP Canada, IQPF update projection assumption guidelines amid pandemic Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

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