Bond counselling

Licensed financial advisors in Ontario may be able to use the “financial advisor” (FA) title if they have a credential from the new self-regulatory organization.

The industry’s new SRO intends to be a credentialing body under Ontario’s title protection framework, a release from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) said on Monday.

The new SRO will have the authority to grant a credential — or credentials — that permit the use of the FA title, the release said.

Details are still in the works.

“Accreditation through [the] new SRO will maintain high proficiency standards and give investors confidence that they are dealing with qualified and committed financial advisors,” Andrew Kriegler, CEO of the new SRO, said in the release.

“Allowing credentials to be approved by [the] new SRO enables thousands of highly qualified financial services professionals in Ontario to use the financial advisor title, while avoiding any duplication of regulatory requirements or cost.”

Ken Kivenko, president of Ontario-based Kenmar Associates, said the development was positive.

“A great opportunity here to raise standards for financial advisors,” Kivenko wrote in an email. “This could result in a single national [credentialing body] for the FA designation, which is a good thing.”

New Brunswick recently introduced legislation for title protection, and Saskatchewan is in the process of creating rules for its title protection framework, which includes education requirements for FAs related to financial planning.

In comparison, Ontario’s title protection framework has been a source of concern among investor advocates for its product focus.