Saskatchewan field with old bridge

If you’re a financial planner or advisor in Saskatchewan, your title will soon be regulated.

Saskatchewan has joined Ontario in efforts to regulate “financial planner” and “financial advisor” by introducing The Financial Planners and Financial Advisors Act, the province said in a release on Monday.

“This legislation will protect consumers and investors by ensuring that persons using these titles have the appropriate credentials and education,” said Don Morgan, Saskatchewan’s justice minister and attorney general, in the release. “Regulating these titles will recognize the significant knowledge and skills of financial planners and financial advisors, and ensure these titles are only used by qualified individuals.”

Saskatchewan’s act is modelled on legislation passed in Ontario in May 2019. The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) of Saskatchewan held a consultation period on title regulation at the end of the summer, specifically asking whether the province should take the same approach as Ontario.

Implementing similar legislation will “allow for consistency between jurisdictions and reduce the risk of duplicate or differing credentialing requirements for industry members,” the release said.

At an industry event last month, Greg Pollock, president and CEO at Advocis, said most of Canada’s provincial finance ministers are discussing — and support — title regulation.

However, Ontario’s legislation hasn’t been free from criticism.

For example, in a submission to the FCAA, the Investment Industry Association of Canada said title regulation shouldn’t extend to “financial advisor,” because of the title’s broadness.

Quebec is currently the only province with title regulation in force; it regulates “financial planner” and restricts other titles. Initial title regulations could start coming into force in Ontario at the end of 2020.

As in Ontario, Saskatchewan’s legislation will require anyone wanting to use “financial planner” or “financial advisor” to hold appropriate credentials from an approved credentialing body.

In Saskatchewan, the definitions of “financial planner” and  “financial advisor,” as well as credential requirements, will be set out in the regulations, and the province will work with industry to develop the credential requirements, the release said.

It also said that the FCAA will approve credentialing bodies and the credentials offered by them. In Ontario, those tasks fall to the new financial services regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario.