Organizations call for Ontario’s Minister of Finance to reject regulator’s proposed Fee Rule amendment and also call for accompanying review of proficiency standards for Financial Advisor title use under Ontario’s Title Protection Framework
TORONTO, June 6, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, FP Canada™, the Financial Planning Association of Canada, Business Career College, and Kenmar Associates are jointly calling for Ontario’s Minister of Finance to reject the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario’s (FSRA’s) proposed amendment to the FSRA Fee Rule (the proposed Fee Rule).
Specifically, the proposed Fee Rule, if approved, would create a special fee exemption for the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) to apply for approval as a Credentialing Body, and to apply for approval on behalf of the representatives it oversees for use of the “Financial Advisor” title, under Ontario’s Title Protection Framework. FP Canada, the Financial Planning Association of Canada, Business Career College, and Kenmar Associates are deeply concerned that this would be counter to the public interest. These organizations share the following key concerns:
- The proposed Fee Rule itself is fundamentally flawed. If approved by the Minister, it would create fee exemptions that are completely disproportionate to Title Protection Framework cost realities, and would exempt CIRO and its representatives from paying their fair share of fees required to fund Ontario’s Title Protection Framework; fees all other credentialing bodies (CBs) and their credential holders pay.
- In addition to contravening the basic principles of transparency and fairness, the proposed Fee Rule risks undermining the long-term viability and sustainability of Ontario’s Title Protection Framework. It may also have the unintended consequence of reducing the accessibility of financial planning advice for consumers.
- A review of the proficiency standards for Financial Advisor credentials must also be conducted. Approving CIRO and its representatives for Financial Advisor title use prior to this review and on the basis of the current standards would have the effect of permanently entrenching them. This would all but eliminate the opportunity to raise them to better align with consumer expectations and needs.
“While we firmly believe in the importance of Ontario’s Title Protection Framework, and its necessary role in enhancing clarity and confidence in Ontario’s financial services sector, it is clear that there are critical Framework deficiencies that must be addressed,” said Tashia Batstone, President and CEO, FP Canada, and a member of FSRA’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee for Financial Planners and Financial Advisors. “It is imperative that these issues be addressed before approval of the proposed Fee Rule.”
“The proposed Fee Rule represents a complete reversal of course on FSRA’s approach to administering Ontario’s Title Protection Framework and will result in holders of Financial Planner credentials bearing the weight of the costs of the Framework,” said Jason Pereira, President, Financial Planning Association of Canada. “This has the potential to jeopardize the financial viability and future of the Framework.”
“We have serious reservations with the Ontario FSRA Baseline Competency Profile for the Financial Advisor title. If CIRO is allowed to enter a professional framework on the back of a sales license alone, consumers will continue to be exposed,” said Ken Kivenko, President, Kenmar Associates. “The reduction in cost recovery resulting from accrediting CIRO (for the Financial Advisor title) will increase the cost of financial planning services and access to trusted personalized financial planning for Canadians may be reduced.”
“CIRO must be required to pay its fair share of program costs. As proposed, FSRA is creating a precedent for exemptions at the expense of existing approved Credentialing Bodies,” said Jason Watt, Vice President, Business Career College, and a member of FSRA’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee for Financial Planners and Financial Advisors. “We urge FSRA to join the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority in Saskatchewan in exploring approaches to Financial Advisor competency requirements that best serve the interests of the consumer.”
Established in 1995, FP Canada is a national not-for-profit education, certification, and professional oversight organization working in the public interest. FP Canada is dedicated to championing better financial wellness for all Canadians by leading the advancement of professional financial planning across the country. There are about 17,500 Certified Financial Planner® professionals and about 1,600 Qualified Associate Financial Planner™ professionals as at March 31, 2023, who are held to FP Canada’s rigorous professional and ethical standards. FP Canada is a FSRA-approved credentialing body, with CFP certification and QAFP® certification authorized for Financial Planner title use in Ontario. Visit the FP Canada website for more information.
The Financial Planning Association of Canada (FPAC) is a new industry association founded in 2019, dedicated to professionalizing the Financial Planning industry. FPAC aims to make financial planning a profession with the highest possible practice standards, fiduciary responsibility, and competency. It is FPAC’s core belief that Financial Planners are uniquely positioned to help improve the lives of Canadians through comprehensive financial planning.
Kenmar is an Ontario-based privately funded organization focused on investor education via articles hosted at www.canadianfundwatch.com. Kenmar also publishes the Fund OBSERVER on a monthly basis, discussing consumer protection issues primarily for retail investors. Kenmar is actively engaged with regulatory affairs. An affiliate, Kenmar Portfolio Analytics, assists, on a no-charge basis, abused consumers and/or their counsel in filing investor complaints and restitution claims.
Business Career College (BCC) has been educating financial advisors, life insurance agents, and financial planners since 1997. During that time, BCC has helped tens of thousands of learners obtain and maintain licenses and certifications.
SOURCE FP Canada