The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada has published final guidance regarding the use of business titles and financial designations.
Its guidance outlines how member firms should supervise and monitor the use of business titles by their individual, client-facing registrants.
In developing this guidance, IIROC considered the results of a member survey conducted among IIROC-regulated firms in 2011, as well as investor-focused research undertaken in 2012.
“With many titles in use, we encourage firms to embrace and implement these best practices,” says Susan Wolburgh Jenah, IIROC’s president and CEO. “This will improve transparency and increase clarity and understanding on the part of investors.”
In addition to new best practices, IIROC-regulated advisors must meet and adhere to high levels of proficiency standards and ongoing continuing education requirements.
As a complement to this notice, IIROC launched a glossary of financial certifications earlier this year (it’s current as of February 25, 2014). It’s a simple online resource that helps investors learn about roughly 50 of the credentials advisors can currently use.
Further, IIROC says firms should have policies and procedures dealing with the use of business titles and financial designations; these policies should reflect a firm’s business model and account offerings. Firms should also be clear about which business titles and financial designations may be used by their employees, as well as about any restrictions or prohibitions in this area, including any pre-approval requirements.
IIROC’s guidance recommends that particular scrutiny be given to the use of business titles that convey an expertise in senior investor-related issues or retirement planning.