Legislation for a "healthy industry"

Legislation for a "healthy industry"

Legislation for a "healthy industry" Some Ontario advisors are welcoming a new private member’s bill that, if passed, would protect consumers from receiving shoddy financial advice and weed out the wheat from the chaff.

“Overall, I think it’s a good thing to streamline regulation, so that (eventually) every province is on the same page,” says Toronto advisor Charles Jiang of Queen Financial Group Inc. “...Especially to the protect the investors.”

Announced Tuesday by Liberal MPP Rick Bartolucci, the Financial Advisors Act, 2014 is the first legislation in Ontario that would govern the profession.

"Doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants and many other groups are regulated as a profession,” said Greg Pollock, President and CEO of Advocis, in a release. "It’s time for those who are critical to the financial well-being of so many Ontarians to be regulated as well.”

The legislation – drafted with help from Advocis – intends to eliminate the ability for just anyone to claim they are a financial advisor and ensure they are meeting consistent proficiency standards, adhering to a code of conduct, satisfying continuing education requirements, and maintaining errors and omissions insurance.

Under the act, financial advisors would have to be registered and any advisor that breaches the act would face financial penalties or have their licenses revoked. An “office of the director” would administer the act – addressing complaints, inspecting registrants and completing investigations. (continued.)

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  • Harley Lockhart, CFP, CLU, CH.F.C. 2014-02-21 12:01:18 PM
    To claim this Ontario legislation would "be deemed being under the thumb of 'big brother'" is disingenuous at the least. The barrage of regulatory creep the industry has faced is a sure indication we are already "under the thumb of 'big brother'".
    This legislation applies directly to the Advisor, unlike IIROC and MFDA, for example, which are regulators of dealers.

    Attempts to interfere with client relationships by regulators of transactions have made it clear, from international example, that negative unintended consequences for the consumer can result from poorly thought out changes by those who have never experienced a client relationship and therefore have limited understanding of the process. Investors with less than $250,000 in investable assets receive far more benefit from an advisory relationship than simply a well-balanced portfolio!
    This legislation will work with existing regulators. freeing them to focus on their specific responsibilities and do what they do best.
    It is clear that someone will regulate the relationship. Other professions in Canada, law, medicine, accounting, engineers, etc. have demonstrated the wisdom of practitioners accepting the responsibility to monitor their own.

    Disclaimer--I am the current Chair of Advocis.
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