The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) is moving ahead with plans to regulate mutual fund dealer representatives’ use of the “financial planner” title.

In a regulatory bulletin issued on Tuesday, the MFDA reports that it received 29 comments on a consultation paper published last autumn, which contemplates rule amendments to set proficiency requirements for reps that call themselves “financial planners.” The bulletin indicates that the comments were mostly supportive of the idea.

As a result, the self-regulatory organization will now develop rule proposals, which will then be subjected to the normal rule development and public comment process.

Unlike actual rule proposals, the MFDA is not publicly releasing the comments it received. Instead, it has published a summary of those submissions, which came from dealers, reps, and investor and industry associations, among others.

“A majority of commenters expressed general support for the effort to provide investors with greater clarity regarding the role and level of expertise of individuals using the title ‘financial planner’,” the MFDA’s bulletin says.

In addition, commenters shared their views on the educational designations that should qualify as meeting any proposed new proficiency requirements, the MFDA reports: “The majority of commenters expressed support for the CFP designation. The FPI, RFP, and PFP designations were also supported by a number of commenters.”

Some of the comments also expressed support for the chartered life underwriter (CLU) designation, the chartered financial consultant (ChFC) designation and the certified international wealth manager (CIWM) designation, the MFDA notes, adding that some commenters recommended the chartered financial analyst designation.

There was a mix of views on whether the proposals should include grandfathering provisions. As well, some commenters argued that financial planners should be held to a best interest standard. There were also calls for uniformity in financial planning regulations and standards, particularly with Ontario’s committee examining possible financial planning regulation.

See: Letters to the editor: The MFDA has no business regulating financial planners

See: Regulation: Constructing rules for planners