Province praised for restricting ‘financial planner’ title

Province praised for restricting ‘financial planner’ title

FP Canada has welcomed the new Act introduced by the Saskatchewan government, which restricts the use of titles “financial planner” and financial advisor”.

The Financial Planners and Financial Advisors Act, brought in by Saskatchewan Minister of Justice and Attorney General Don Morgan, will improve consumer protection in the province by providing clarity to help consumers make informed decisions about who to approach for financial advice, according to the national body.

As part of the consultations, FP Canada proposed restricting the title ‘financial planner’—a suggestion which was ultimately adopted. The Act, therefore, allows use of the term only to individuals who obtain, and maintain in good standing, an approved credential from an approved credentialing body. The Act also paves the way for a harmonized national approach between Saskatchewan and other jurisdictions that pass similar legislation.

Currently in Saskatchewan—and in most Canadian provinces—there is no legislated standard in place for those who claim to offer financial planning or financial advice. That means individuals may use the title “financial planner” without having demonstrated that they have any relevant expertise or qualifications.

FP Canada said in a statement: “[We] have taken a leadership role in advocating for policymakers to restrict use of the title ‘financial planner’ to individuals holding appropriate certification as a financial planner from a recognized professional body.

“To qualify for certification, these individuals should be required to demonstrate that they meet appropriate proficiency requirements and should be accountable to a professional body for their ongoing conduct. These requirements are already met by all FP Canada certificants, including the almost 17,000 CFP® professionals across the country.”

President and CEO Cary List added: “For too long, Canadians looking for professional financial planning and advice have been forced to navigate a confusing myriad of qualifications, licences and professional obligations of those calling themselves ‘financial advisors’ or ‘financial planners’.

“This legislation will provide the clarity that consumers deserve, enabling consumers to make better informed choices when seeking financial planning advice.”

Earlier this year, the Ontario government introduced similar legislation—the Financial Professionals Title Protection Act.  FP Canada urges all provinces to establish similar legislated restrictions regarding the use of the title “financial planner”

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