The Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) says it supports the Ontario government’s pledge to examine possible regulation of financial planners, saying that such a move would enhance consumer protection.

Following Monday’s re-introduction of the Ontario budget, which includes a promise to continue studying planner regulation, the FPSC says that it welcomes the government’s “continued interest in the need for tailored regulation of financial planners”. The previous government held consultations on the issue last winter.

“FPSC is encouraged by the government’s intention to move forward in investigating the need for tailored regulation of financial planners,” says Cary List, president & CEO of the FPSC. “Many of today’s consumers are in precarious financial positions and should be able to rely on the expertise of a qualified professional planner to weather the storm. Yet in most Canadian provinces, including Ontario, there are no legislated competency or qualification requirements regarding who may call themselves financial planners.”

“More than ever, clarity regarding the use of the financial planner title, the requisite level of competence and the corresponding professional qualifications and related obligations to clients are critical to protect consumers and to ensure they get the help they need from appropriately qualified individuals,” he added.

The Ontario budget reiterates a pledge to appoint an expert committee to more thoroughly study policy alternatives and to develop recommendations for possible planner regulation.