Organizations that administer the credentials for reps to use the financial planner and financial advisor titles in Ontario will be scrutinized under an oversight plan released Thursday.
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) issued its plans for overseeing the credentialing bodies under the title regime that took effect in March 2022. While those bodies oversee the reps who use the planner and advisor titles, FSRA oversees the organizations.
So far, FSRA has approved four organizations as credentialing bodies — FP Canada, the Institute for Advanced Financial Education, the Canadian Securities Institute, and the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning — as well as nine credentials.
Under the oversight plan, FSRA said it will focus on ensuring the organizations have adequate resources, and that their complaint-handling and disciplinary processes are effective.
The regulator will also examine how well the principle of putting clients’ interests first is built into the credentialing organizations’ programs.
FSRA said it will publish a report on its supervisory efforts.
The regulator also published guidance to the industry detailing its approach to oversight.
FSRA has authority to take enforcement action against approved credentialing bodies, such as issuing compliance orders or revoking approval, to ensure they comply with the regime’s requirements.
“When people invest their life savings or are planning for retirement, they need to know that their financial planner or financial advisor is putting their interests first,” said Huston Loke, executive vice-president, market conduct at FSRA, in a release.
“I am confident that the supervision plan we are releasing today will lead to higher industry standards, enhanced consumer protection and increased confidence that financial professionals are helping their clients plan and achieve their financial goals.”