More Financial Advisors In Ontario To Have Their Credentials Officially Approved - The New Self-Regulatory Organization Of Canada Expresses Intent To Become Credentialing Body
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) and the New Self-Regulatory Organization of Canada (New SRO) are working on how the New SRO can become a credentialing body for financial advisors under FSRA’s Financial Professionals Title Protection Framework.
If agreed, New SRO will have the authority to grant credential(s) that permit the use of the ‘Financial Advisor’ title in Ontario under Ontario’s Financial Professionals Title Protection Act, 2019 (FPTPA). The approval will be subject to conditions as outlined in the Financial Professionals Title Protection (FPTP) Rule and related guidance.
The OSC, in coordination with the Canadian Securities Administrators, oversees and recognizes New SRO as the self-regulatory organization that regulates, among other things, individuals working at mutual fund or investment dealers that provide investment advice to Ontario consumers. As such, FSRA, the OSC and New SRO are working together to ensure that New SRO’s participation as a credentialing body under the title protection framework would not result in regulatory duplication.
FSRA will be proposing an amendment to the FSRA Fee Rule that, if approved, would reduce New SRO’s fees, to recognize that the OSC already provides oversight of its activities.
“This is a positive step forward and, once implemented, will provide a tremendous benefit for both consumers and financial services professionals in Ontario,” said Mark White, FSRA CEO. “Participation of New SRO under the title protection framework, and the support of the OSC, furthers FSRA’s continued efforts to protect consumers and to foster a sustainable, competitive financial services sector.”
New SRO, which launched in January 2023, is a consolidation of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA), with a mandate to protect investors and support healthy Canadian Capital Markets. Becoming a credentialing body under FSRA’s title protection framework will support this focus on enhanced investor protection.
“Accreditation through New SRO will maintain high proficiency standards and give investors confidence that they are dealing with qualified and committed Financial Advisors,” said Andrew Kriegler, CEO, New SRO. “Allowing credentials to be approved by New SRO enables thousands of highly qualified financial services professionals in Ontario to use the Financial Advisor title, while avoiding any duplication of regulatory requirements or cost,”
FSRA-approved credentialing bodies are responsible for overseeing the conduct of their Financial Planner and Financial Advisor credential holders and enforcing compliance with minimum requirements. Credentialing bodies must have robust supervision processes and a code of conduct.
“We are pleased to see FSRA and New SRO move forward with a model that recognizes the OSC’s oversight,” said Grant Vingoe, CEO of the OSC.
Officially being recognized as a Financial Advisor will further strengthen the value of New SRO registrants and the recognition of their education and expertise. In addition, consumers will have added confidence that these title users have a minimum standard of education, are being actively supervised and are subject to a robust complaints and discipline process.
The title protection framework came into effect when the FPTPA and the FPTP Rule came into force in March 2022.
Until June 2023, FSRA will, as previously announced, continue to focus its resources on approving credentialing bodies and assisting them with the implementation of the title protection framework. FSRA’s enforcement activities with respect to non-compliant title users will continue to focus on responding to consumer complaints and protecting consumers from harm by requesting non-compliant title users to voluntarily cease title use within 30 days.
FSRA will also continue to maintain a list of approved credentialing bodies and credentials on its website, to assist title users and consumers in identifying credentials that enable the use of the Financial Planner and Financial Advisor titles. To ensure ongoing consumer protection, FSRA will continue to monitor the market for any changes in title use and communicate additional information to the industry as needed.
To find out more about FSRA’s title protection framework and other credentialing bodies, please visit FSRA’s Financial Planners and Financial Advisors Industry page.
FSRA continues to work on behalf of all stakeholders, including consumers, to ensure financial safety, fairness, and choice for Ontarians.