Advocis urges Alberta to regulate advisors

By Staff | November 12, 2018 | Last updated on November 12, 2018
2 min read
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Advocis continues its push for a professional governing organization for financial advisors—this time using a poll of Alberta investors as evidence that such an organization is needed.

Only about half of Albertans polled (54%) are aware that anyone can put out their shingle as a “financial advisor,” regardless of education, training or membership in a professional governing body, says Advocis in a release. That figure was even lower (24%) in an Advocis poll of Ontarians released last month.

The Alberta poll also finds that those with lower incomes place the highest levels of trust in the financial advisor title, says the release.

Greg Pollock, CEO and president at Advocis, says in the release that the latest poll “reinforces just how badly new regulations are needed to protect the public.”

The overwhelming majority of Albertans polled (89%) say they’d support the provincial government passing legislation to regulate the use of “financial advisor,” and 85% say financial advisors should be subject to a mandatory code of professional conduct. (The figures are similar in Ontario, where 91% of those polled support title regulation.)

Such positive responses aren’t surprising, as they don’t ask respondents to consider further statutory regulation in light of current requirements for advisors, as well as rules and principles mandated by IIROC and the MFDA.

Still, in the release, Advocis encourages the government of Alberta to “take meaningful action, and protect the financial security of Albertans.”

In Ontario, the way forward for plans to regulate the title of financial planner, as well as, potentially, financial advisor, remain unclear in the wake of the provincial government’s lack of support for the CSA’s embedded commissions proposals.

Advocis calls for every financial advisor to be required to be a member of a professional governing organization and adhere to a common code of professional and ethical conduct, maintain mandatory professional liability insurance, complete ongoing professional development, and commit to a fair and impartial disciplinary process.

In its comment letter on the CSA’s client-focused reforms, which include title reform, Advocis says membership in such a governing body should be mandatory for everyone who offers retail-level financial products and services, including financial planners.

Further, the body would develop categories of membership, according to designations, so that it comprises all financial advisors, including financial planners.

About the survey: Conducted by Abacus Data in October, the survey polled 800 Albertans. staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.