“A far better way to protect consumers is to regulate all advisors,” said Pollock. “This will preserve choice, ensure that the millions of Ontarians now benefiting from financial advice will continue to have access, and it will establish industry-wide standards for all financial advisors.”
It will also bridge the gap between sectors; a common complaint with the current system, as an advisor found guilty of misconduct in one sector (for example, selling insurance) can continue to practice in another sector (for example, selling mutual funds).
A single system would deal with complaints and has the power to suspend or revoke an advisor’s registration.
“This will protect the advisors and protect the industry,” says Chiang. “It’s extra work and takes more time (for the advisor), but that is necessary for a healthy industry.”
Roundtable sessions held by the Ontario Ministry of Finance in January invited industry groups to debate the merits of specific regulation for financial planners in Ontario.
A polarizing debate across the industry, there are many advisors out there oppposed to increased regulation, which could be deemed being under the thumb of 'big brother.'