FAIR Canada – Coalition Calls on Governments to Raise Standards for Financial Advisors


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TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On behalf of a coalition of concerned financial consumer advocates, FAIR Canada is calling on provincial governments to adopt higher standards for financial advisors.

Consumers expect a financial advisor to meet high ethical, educational and professional standards. They also expect to be knowledgeable about a range of topics, including personal finance, retirement planning, and taxes.

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In implementing its new title protection framework, Ontario’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority is setting the bar too low with its approach, raising concerns that consumers may be at risk.

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“We are disappointed with Ontario’s approach to approving financial advisor qualifications,” said Jean-Paul Bureaud, Executive Director, FAIR Canada. “Ontario’s product-centric approach falls short of what the majority of consumers would expect from a financial advisor.”

In contrast, Saskatchewan’s Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) is exploring an approach that better protects consumers. In its recent request for comment on the regulations for financial planners and financial advisors, the FCAA expressed concern that a product-centric approach could do more than disappoint clients – it could lead to bad financial decisions.

“The primary consideration in implementing a title protection system should be consumer protection, and notarization approvals in Ontario are moving towards an increasingly worrying lowest common denominator. Saskatchewan should strive to build a model that better meets consumer needs and expectations when it comes to financial advice,” said Michael Thom, Managing Director, CFA Societies Canada.

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Low requirements for financial advisers also risk undermining the behavioral requirements for financial professionals set out in the Securities Act. “Creating a system where the threshold to be a financial advisor is the same as that of someone capable of selling a mutual fund means that any mutual fund sales agent can become a financial advisor, essentially through one Industry hallmark,” said Jason Pereira, President, The Financial Planning Association of Canada. “Ontario’s approach does little effectively and instead of reducing regulatory burden, it actually increases it.”

For more information, contact one of the following coalitions of concerned consumer advocates:

FAIR Canada
Jean Paul Bureaud
President, CEO and Managing Director
The Financial Planning Association of Canada
Jason Pereira
president
CFA Societies Canada
Michael Tom
Managing Director

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About FAIR Canada

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FAIR Canada champions the rights of individual investors in Canada through advocacy, education and regulatory advances. We are the trusted, independent voice on important issues affecting individual investors. As Canada’s only non-profit, investor-focused organization, we provide informed, unbiased commentary on regulatory issues that impact fairness and investor protection. Learn more about investor rights at FAIRCanada.ca and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

For more information please contact:

Jean Paul Bureaud
Managing Director, FAIR Canada
[email protected]

Andrew David
Communication Specialist, FAIR Canada
[email protected]

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