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Regulate Financial Planners in the Public Interest

(OTTAWA)— The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) called upon the provinces to regulate the practice of “financial planning” in a report released today entitled, “Holding The Purse Strings: Regulating Financial Planners.”

PIAC’s report noted that the practice of financial planning in Canada is comprised of several self-regulating bodies, except in the province of Quebec where these services are regulated. The lack of provincial regulation allows certain activities that are clearly not true financial planning services to be promoted as such, thereby misleading consumers.

PIAC counsel and report co-author John Lawford noted that individuals could claim to be “financial planners” in most provinces with no qualifications whatsoever: “The term ‘financial planner’ should be one consumers can understand and trust. Consumers are confused by the multiple agencies granting similar titles, and say they need consistent, enforceable mechanisms for consumer protection when using these services.”

The report also recommends that the federal government look into the availability of comprehensive financial planning and its potential value to Canadians as a part of the government’s commitment to investigating financial literacy in Canada.
PIAC’s report is based on two focus groups undertaken in Toronto by Environics Research Group with financial planners and their clients in November 2008.

The full report –– Holding The Purse Strings: Regulating Financial Planners–– is available for download at: http://www.piac.ca

PIAC received funding from Industry Canada’s Contributions Program for Non-Profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations. The views expressed in the report are not necessarily those of Industry Canada or the Government of Canada.

A copy of the report is found here: Holding The Purse Strings: Regulating Financial Planners

Executive Summary [pdf file: 0.02mb]
Sommaire [pdf file: 0.02mb]

For more information, please contact:

John Lawford
Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
(613) 562-4002×25 (Tel)
(613) 562- 0007 (Fax)
lawford@piac.ca

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