Exempt IIROC, MFDA firms from title rules: IIAC

Industry raises concerns with proposed standards for advisor, planner titles

The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) says investment dealers and fund dealers that are already under self-regulatory organization oversight should be exempted from new titling rules proposed by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).

The FSRA is consulting on proposed minimum proficiency standards for reps to use the “financial planner” and “financial advisor” titles.

In a submission to the FSRA, the IIAC said it supports the objective of providing investors with greater clarity about the qualifications of self-titled planners, but it also questioned some of the FSRA’s proposed standards and whether the title restrictions would extend to other commonly used titles.

“For example, would titles such as ‘investment advisor’ and ‘securities advisor’ or ‘estate planner’ and ‘financial planning consultant’ reasonably be confused with, respectively, the financial advisor or financial planner title?” the IIAC asked in its submission.

The group recommended the FSRA consider exempting both investment dealers and fund dealers from its requirements.

“FSRA has stated its commitment to avoid duplicative oversight and unnecessary regulatory burden on market participants, yet this framework will do exactly that for SRO registrants,” it said in its submission.

“The SROs, with the mandate of protecting investors and the integrity of the Canadian capital markets, have rigorous proficiency requirements and business and financial conduct oversight of their registrants,” it said.

As a result, it said the FSRA should consider an exemption for both IIROC and MFDA firms.

The deadline for the FSRA’s consultation is Nov. 12.

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