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Suspensions of certified financial planners and qualified associate financial planners were down year over year despite an increase in complaints, based on the FP Canada Standards Council’s annual report released on Thursday.

The council is the division of FP Canada that oversees certification requirements and sets and enforces financial planning standards.

The council received 121 complaints in 2023, with 71 of those initiated by the council. Top complaint allegations included suitability (16.5%), diligence (15.7%), integrity (11.6%) and client service failure (9.1%).

Of the complaints, 32 were referred to a conduct review panel, 13 were referred to a disciplinary hearing panel, and 13 disciplinary hearings were held.

In the previous year, there were 84 complaints, and 11 disciplinary hearings were held.

Of the disciplinary hearings held in 2023, about 58% resulted in suspension, down from about 73% the previous year.

Examples of conduct that resulted in suspension included failing to inform the Standards Council about another certificant’s personal financial dealings with clients, being subject to a consumer proposal with debt owed to the Canada Revenue Agency, and referring a client to an unsuitable investment.