This article appears in the May 2022 issue of Advisor’s Edge magazine. Subscribe to the print edition, read the digital edition or read the articles online.
Ontario’s title regulations came into force on March 28, ushering in a new era for the province’s financial advice profession. Saskatchewan has also passed legislation governing advisor titles and New Brunswick completed a consultation last year.
In Quebec, however, advisor titles have been regulated since 1998. In that province, only people with appropriate credentials — generally, a diploma from the Institut québécois de planification financière — may use the “financial planner” title. Only qualified insurance advisors may use the “financial security advisor” title. No other titles are allowed, and the province’s legislation also lists disallowed titles.
A spokesperson from the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) said that, from 2017 to 2021, the regulator commenced 70 title violation cases.
|Year||Number of title
All in all, Quebec’s rules leave little to the imagination. The AMF published a guide to proper business cards in 2000, and updated that guidance again in 2013. Can you spot the violations?
Quiz: Are these business cards compliant in Quebec?
Source: Rules for business cards and other representations, Autorité des marchés financiers
2) No. The title “Advisor” is not authorized, a representative cannot mention financial performance and qualifiers are forbidden. The card is missing the title associated with the sector in which John is authorized to act. The name of the firm or the mention “independent representative” is also missing.
3) No. The title “Financial Services Advisor” is not authorized. The card is missing the title associated with the sector in which John is authorized to act, and the name of the firm or the mention “independent representative” is also missing.
Avoid these titles in Ontario
The supervisory framework for the Ontario legislation lays out titles that could “reasonably be confused” with “financial planner” and “financial advisor,” and which are therefore restricted. These include:
- senior financial planner/advisor
- qualified financial planner/advisor
- financial wealth planner/advisor
- financial investments planner/advisor
- financial planner/advisor investments
- financial planning advisor
- financial planning/advising consultant
- financial planning/advising counsellor
- financial planning/advising guru
- financial planning/advising manager