Special Feature

New rules for advisors and financial planners?

The final report of the Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives makes several recommendations dealing with titles and credentials that are likely to have a significant impact on many in the investment industry.

 

Included in this special feature are the notable developments in this area since the Ontario government announced its commitment to regulate financial planners and financial advisors. Photo copyright: kritchanut/123RF.

Industry News

IFIC supports next steps in review of financial planning and advice

By James Langton |

Ontario says that it remains committed to its review of the regulation of financial planning, and that it plans to appoint an expert committee to devise recommendations to the government on the further regulation of financial advisors and planners.

In the 2014 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review presented to the legislative assembly on Monday, the Ontario government says that it is "moving forward with the appointment of an expert committee to thoroughly consider more tailored regulation of financial advisors, including financial planners."

It says that in the coming months, the committee, which will be composed of "independent members", will develop a mandate that includes "an analysis of relevant issues surrounding the profession, such as the sufficiency of regulatory frameworks; proficiency and education requirements; the use of multiple titles; consumer access to information and complaint registration; and potential conflicts of interest."

The government indicates that it expects that, after analyzing these issues, the committee will provide recommendations and submit its final report to the Minister of Finance for review by early 2016.

The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) issued a statement indicating that it supports the planned appointment of an expert panel. "IFIC members share the minister's goal of helping consumers make informed choices about their investments, and we look forward to providing input and ideas to the committee and advisory group," said IFIC president and CEO, Joanne De Laurentiis.

"The roundtables hosted earlier this year by the Ministry of Finance identified a number of opportunities for strengthening Ontarians' access to advice and their relationships with their advisors," she added.

IFIC participated in the February 2014 roundtables and provided a written submission responding to the consultation with several concrete suggestions. (See Financial planning: Are new rules on the horizon?, Investment Executive, March 2014.)

In addition, to reforming financial planning regulation, the review also noted the government's ongoing effort to create a cooperative national securities regulator. And, it said that it is reviewing the mandates of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO), and reviewing the legislative framework for credit unions and caisses populaires.