Ontario should lead a push for financial planning regulation across the country, the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) said Friday.
In a submission to the Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives that is developing recommendations for the Ontario government, the mutual fund industry trade group recommends that Ontario "take a leadership role with its provincial counterparts to create nationally harmonized rules governing financial planning."
The IFIC submission pushes back against some of the Expert Committee's preliminary recommendations, which were published in early April, such as its call for a statutory best interest standard and curbs on referral fees, but it supports the idea of some form of oversight on the currently unregulated world of financial planning.
"Regulation of financial planning will address an important regulatory gap in investor protection, and enhance investor confidence in financial service providers," says Joanne De Laurentiis, president and CEO of IFIC, in a statement announcing the submission.
"Given the national footprint of many financial services firms and their clients' mobility, the investment funds industry is recommending that Ontario lead the creation of rules that would be applied nation-wide," she adds.
Among other things, the IFIC submission also says that the expert committee's proposed definitions for "financial planning" and "financial product sales and advice" should be narrowed, and that measures should be adopted to avoid regulatory overlap.
The Expert Committee is slated to deliver its final recommendations to the provincial government by the end of the year.
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