Update: As of July 4, 2012 The Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis) has withdrawn from the Coalition.
Press Release: For Immediate Release — May 31, 2011
May 31, Toronto – Currently, anyone in most provinces and territories can claim to be a financial planner without meeting requirements for qualifications or professional oversight. For the first time in Canada, five organizations involved in financial planning standards, education and certification have united to form The Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planners (the Coalition). The Coalition’s mandate is to work towards establishing a common set of national standards which would provide Canadians with clarity and better protection when engaging financial planners.
Coalition members include the Institute of Advanced Financial Planners™ (IAFP®), Canadian Institute of Financial Planners™ (CIFPs), The Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis), Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), and the Institut qubecois de planification financiere (IQPF®).
The first act of the Coalition was to develop a Statement of Principles which sets the foundation for its work going forward in establishing national standards. The Statement of Principles states that any individual in Canada who holds themselves out to the public as a financial planner and/or claims to provide financial planning services must meet approved professional standards related to education, experience, examination, ethics and professional duty of care – and be accountable to professional oversight.
Currently, financial planning credentials in Canada are voluntary (with the exception of Quebec). There are no nationally agreed-upon parameters outlining minimum standards of competence and ethics or for professional oversight for financial planning credentials. This leaves Canadians without a consistent means to reliably identify financial planners who are qualified, competent and held to an ethical standard.
While the Statement of Principles is not meant to be exhaustive, it provides a foundation for stakeholders to work together towards establishing national standards that better serve and protect the public when engaging financial planners. The Coalition calls on all stakeholders to help take its work to the next step in establishing national standards for financial planning.
“Canadians need an objective and more reliable way of distinguishing between those who falsely claim qualifications as a financial planner and those who have met proven standards of competence and ethical duty. Until this occurs, the Canadian public is left with confusion on how to navigate their decisions when choosing a financial planner and with no recourse if their planner falsely represents their qualifications,” says Keith Costello, President, CIFPs.
“All professionals such as lawyers, accountants, doctors, must meet minimum standards of proficiency, ethical conduct and accountability. Why shouldn’t financial planners be held to similar standards? Until Canada raises the bar on standards for financial planners the public will not be amply protected from unqualified individuals who claim to be qualified when they are not,” says Greg Pollock, President and CEO, Advocis.
“Professional oversight is a critical requirement for any professional and financial planners should be no different. To truly protect the public, anyone who calls themselves a financial planner or claims to offer financial planning services should not only be required to meet minimum standards of competence and ethics – they should also be accountable to professional oversight by a body that, by design, is dedicated to protecting the public interest,” says Ken Bates, Director, IAFP®.
“Canadians should not have to guess if they are making the right choice when choosing a financial planner. Our work at the Coalition supports the recommendation from the Federal Task Force on Financial Literacy which highlighted the need to help Canadians become better informed when choosing a financial practitioner. We look forward to a day when all Canadians who engage financial planners can be assured that there are national standards in place,” says Cary List, President and CEO of FPSC.
“This is a Canadian-first. National in scope, the Coalition is focusing on ensuring all Canadians have a means to judge the qualifications of prospective financial planners. We are proud to join this Coalition and work towards a meaningful solution that better serves the Canadian public,” says Jocelyne Houle-LeSarge, President and CEO of IQPF®.
Members of The Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planning have come together to work towards establishing a common set of national standards for individuals who offer or claim to offer financial planning services. Members include: Canadian Institute of Financial Planners™ (CIFPs), The Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis), Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), the Institute of Advanced Financial Planners™ (IAFP®) and the Institut qubecois de planification financiere (IQPF®). Each coalition member organization has a mandate that supports professional standards in financial planning, is committed to serving the public interest, and engages in the education, certification and/or oversight of financial planners.
Last updated: 21 Jul 2019 11:56 PM