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FPSC Welcomes Ontario's Continued Interest in Need for Tailored Regulation of Financial Planning

Increased clarity would protect consumers

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/01/14 -- Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), a not-for-profit standards-setting and certification body that develops, promotes and enforces professional financial planning standards through Certified Financial Planner® certification, welcomes the continued interest in today's Ontario budget of the need for tailored regulation of financial planners.

The government has committed to setting up an expert committee that will further study the merits of tailored regulation of financial planners and provide the government with options if regulation is required.

"FPSC is encouraged by the government's intention to move forward in investigating the need for tailored regulation of financial planners," says Cary List, FPSC President & CEO. "We look forward to offering our continued leadership and expertise on this subject in order to safeguard and enhance the financial well-being of all Ontarians."

Today's budget announcement comes following the Ontario Ministry of Finance initiative to investigate the merits of proceeding with more tailored regulation of financial planners, outlined in the 2013 Fall Economic Statement. The government held industry consultations on the subject in January 2014, which included recommendations from FPSC and its partners in the Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planners. The Coalition is comprised of four organizations concerned about ensuring there are appropriate mandatory professional standards for financial planners to adequately serve Canadians' financial planning needs.

As part of the consultations, the Coalition, whose members include Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFPs), the Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP), and the Institut quebecois de planification financiere (IQPF), submitted a proposed framework for the official recognition and oversight of the financial planning profession. This framework is based on standards already in place and accepted by more than 22,000 financial planners across Canada, more than 9,000 of whom practice in Ontario.

The need for formal professionalization of financial planning has never been greater, according to List, as a result of the ongoing lack of clarity in the current environment as to who is permitted to hold out as a financial planner, leaving Ontarians vulnerable.

"Today's consumers are in the most precarious financial position we have experienced in decades," he says. "Yet in most Canadian provinces including Ontario, there are no legislated competency or qualification requirements regarding who may call themselves financial planners or offer financial planning services."

"More than ever, clarity regarding the use of the financial planner title, the requisite level of competence and the corresponding professional qualifications and related obligations to clients are critical to protect consumers by ensuring they get the help they need from individuals who are appropriately qualified to provide it."

About Financial Planning Standards Council

Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) is a not-for-profit organization which develops, promotes and enforces professional standards in financial planning through Certified Financial Planner® certification. FPSC's purpose is to instil confidence in the financial planning profession. As a standards-setting and certification body, FPSC ensures CFP® professionals and Registered Candidates meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics. More information is at www.fpsc.ca.

About CFP® certification

CFP certification, long considered the gold standard in financial planning, provides assurance to Canadians that their financial planner has the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities and ethics for professional financial planning. There are more than 17,000 CFP professionals across Canada, part of a global community of over 150,000 worldwide. CFP professionals demonstrate their financial planning competence through extensive education; a rigorous, comprehensive national examination process; continuous professional development requirements; and accountability to FPSC for ethical conduct, standards of practice and competence. More information is at http://www.fpsc.ca/about-cfp-mark.

CFP®, Certified Financial Planner® and are certification trademarks owned outside the U.S. by Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. (FPSB). Financial Planning Standards Council is the marks licensing authority for the CFP marks in Canada, through agreement with FPSB. All other ® are registered trademarks of FPSC, unless indicated. © 2014 Financial Planning Standards Council. All rights reserved.

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