Under the title protection arrangement, anyone who disguises himself to be a financial advisor or financial planner in Ontario shall be obliged to ensure that he communicates with clients competently, professionally, fairly, honestly and in good faith. are dealing. Title users will be subject to active supervision by a recognized credentialing body, and will be expected to adhere to minimum professional standards in order to continue to use the title.
To reduce any overlap of regulatory requirements on individual title users, the FSRA’s approach to title protection draws from existing requirements already administered by licensing and professional designation bodies.
“Overwhelmingly, the industry supports it,” White says. “They have known that there has been confusion in the market for years, and this works against a large number of qualified professional financial planners and advisors. I think the industry realizes that this will create value where the consumer wants to go. One can trust by looking at the title associated with the person from whom they are receiving financial planning and advisory services.
Title users will also be subject to a complaints and discipline process, offering consumers additional reassurance if they believe something has gone wrong in the relationship. To support this, the FSRA requires credentialing bodies to have a robust oversight process as well as a code of conduct that requires credential holders to put the interest of the customer first, among other requirements.
“Being a credentialing body is not easy. It is an important position,” says White. “They are, inevitably, going to be the regulator of their title users. And we will regulate those credentialing bodies not only to approve them, but to make sure they meet those expectations.