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

Expert committee seeks feedback on the definition of financial planning, and how planning differs from advice

By James Langton |

The expert committee that is reviewing the regulation of financial planning in Ontario launched formal consultations on Thursday with the release of a paper calling for input on whether everything from conflicts to compensation should be regulated.

In the consultation paper, the expert committee seeks feedback on the appropriate definition of financial planning, and how planning differs from advice.

The committee also asks for input on the regulation of planning, and whether proficiency, the use of titles, and compensation, among other things should be explicitly regulated; and, on the legal standards that should govern conflicts of interest.

Lastly, the paper asks whether consumers should have access to a central registry of information on firms and individuals that engage in financial planning, including information on their complaint or discipline histories.

"We are constantly looking for ways to protect consumers and strengthen our financial services sector. While many financial services are regulated, financial advisory and financial planning activities are not subject to comprehensive regulatory oversight. The work of the expert committee will ensure that regulatory oversight is being properly applied to this important sector and that Ontarians are protected, said, Charles Sousa, minister of finance.

Ontarians can provide feedback online or in writing by Aug. 31. The expert committee is supposed to produce recommendations to the government in 2016.

Earlier this year, the Ontario government named a four person committee to lead these consultations, headed by lawyer Malcolm Heins. The committee also includes professor Anita Anand; long-time industry executive and regulator Paul Bates; and former securities lawyer Lawrence Haber.