Ontario is one step closer to new requirements governing financial advisor and planner titles, as the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) has sent final rules to the minister of finance for approval.
The government now has 60 days to approve the rules — although even if that happens, it’s not clear when the new regime would take effect. The enabling legislation still must be proclaimed into force.
Indeed, the only change to the rule since the last public consultation was a new section clarifying that the new regime takes effect when the legislation comes into force.
The section was added to provide more flexibility, “as the implementation date of the title protection framework is currently unknown,” FSRA indicated in its filing.
If and when the rules do take effect, they will set minimum standards for the use of advisor and planner titles in the province in an effort to address long-standing concerns about the fact that anyone can call themselves an advisor or planner without meeting any proficiency or conduct standards.
“The rule will provide consumers/investors with added confidence when dealing with [advisor] and [planner] title users who will be subject to minimum credentialing criteria and appropriate supervision by an approved credentialing body,” FSRA said in a release.
The regulator said the regime is also intended to introduce these new protections while inflicting minimal added regulatory cost on the industry by relying on existing education providers to supply the required credentials.
FSRA noted that it is “in discussions with organizations who have expressed interest” serving as credentialing bodies under the proposed new regime.