The Financial Planning Standards Council
(FPSC) says they are encouraged by Ontario’s support when it comes to regulating the services offered by individuals in the financial planning industry.
In their 2015 Fall Economic Statement, Cary List, FPSC President and CEO said: "FPSC is encouraged by the Ontario government's leadership on this critical consumer protection issue. The current lack of clarity as to who is permitted to hold themselves out as a financial planner leaves consumers vulnerable and confused."
As it stands, anyone is able to name themselves as a financial planner without holding any qualifications or certifications. Currently, outside of Quebec, no legal framework is in place to regulate the activities of individual financial planners and there is no one to hold those without a certification accountable.
This could all change with many suggesting the certified planner certificate become a prerequisite for use of the term ‘planner.’
In April earlier this year, the Ontario government appointed an expert committee to review the current regulatory framework relating to financial advisory services. They are expected to submit a final report with its own recommendations to the government next year.
"Ontarians are at risk of receiving the wrong advice from the wrong people—or of getting no help or advice at all—because they don't understand what help they really need and don't know where to turn to get it," said List.
The FPSC highlights that it’s about ensuring the public are protected, as many don’t realise that a planner may not have had any formal training and may not know what they should be looking for in professional advice. It may also improve people’s attitudes towards planners if there can be more transparency generated in the industry.
In September 2015, the FPSC submitted their own recommendations to the expert committee.