businessman in a desk with financial advisor nameplate

New Brunswick could follow Ontario and Saskatchewan in regulating the “financial planner” and “financial advisor” titles.

The Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick (FCNB) launched a consultation today on possible measures to regulate the use of advisor and planner titles.

Similar to ongoing efforts in other jurisdictions, the FCNB said its initiative aims to address the confusing array of titles used in the financial sector. In particular, the FCNB is concerned that “consumers may be obtaining financial services or advice from individuals with limited qualifications or knowledge,” it said in the paper released today.

The FCNB’s consultation, which comes at the behest of the provincial government, indicates the regulator could recommend a regime similar to the approach being adopted in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

“Such an approach would leverage existing regimes for licensing and designating financial professionals, and maximize the extent to which New Brunswick’s regulation of these titles is harmonized with other jurisdictions,” it said.

The consultation is also seeking feedback on enforcement of title restrictions.

The FCNB is considering a regime that would enable it to fine or impose other penalties on people who use a restricted title without the required credentials, following the approach being taken in Saskatchewan.

In Ontario, violators could receive a compliance order, but don’t face fines or other sanctions.

The FCNB may also prohibit financial professionals from using specific titles — such as “financial consultant,” “personal financial co-ordinator” and “private wealth advisor” — that could be confused with the regulated titles. This approach is modelled on Quebec’s regime.

While Ontario and Saskatchewan have both passed legislation to regulate financial sector titles, they have yet to implement actual regulation. Quebec remains the only province that actually regulates titles.

The FCNB’s consultation is out for a 75-day comment period, ending Oct. 25.