FSRA focusing on CBs in title protection effort

Ontario regulator is giving financial advisor and financial planner title users in the province more time to comply with framework

FSRA focusing on CBs in title protection effort

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is prioritizing its resources on approving and assisting credentialing bodies (CBs) as it continues to implement the province’s financial professional title protection framework.

“Given our active discussions with approved credentialing bodies (CBs) about public transparency, and our discussions with other potential credentialing bodies, this focus on approval and implementation will continue until June 30, 2023,” the provincial regulator said in an update.

In the meantime, FSRA said its enforcement efforts with regards to non-compliant title users – individuals holding themselves out as financial advisors (FAs) or financial planners (FPs) without having a recognized designation from an approved CB – will focus on responding to consumer complaints.

It is also requesting non-compliant users to voluntarily cease title use within 30 days.

To help financial professionals and consumers in the province identify approved credentials for the use of the FA and FP titles, FSRA said it will continue to maintain a list of approved CBs on its website.

Following discussions with its Financial Advisor/Financial Planner Stakeholder Advisory Committee earlier this month, a summary of CB approval terms and conditions, as well as FSRA’s plan for CB transparency, will be published on the regulator’s website in early 2023.

“FSRA continues to actively consider applications and will announce additional credentialing bodies and their designations as they become approved,” the regulator said.

The FSRA statement also addressed the impending introduction of a single-SRO regime from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA).

FSRA, the new SRO, and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) are in discussions about the oversight framework in case the new SRO applies to become a CB.

“To ensure ongoing consumer protection, FSRA will continue to monitor the market for any changes in title use and communicate additional information to the public as needed,” the regulator said.