April 28th, 2015
The Ontario Ministry of Finance, further to its announcement in the 2014 Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, is launching a review of regulations pertaining to financial advisors and planners. The Ontario government wants to help investors and consumers make informed investment and financial choices and to enhance the oversight in this important sector. The financial sector is second only to the manufacturing sector in Ontario in terms of output.
Currently, anyone in the province can call themselves a financial planner. While more than 9,000 have voluntarily been certified as planners, there is no requirement to do so. Many industry groups, including Advocis and the Financial Planning Coalition, have called for the mandatory regulation of financial advisors and planners. They seek increased professional standards for all financial advice professionals and greater consumer protection.
The review will be conducted by an expert committee consisting of
- Malcolm Heins, former CEO of the Law Society of Upper Canada, will serve as Chair
- Anita Anand, professor of law at the University of Toronto and the inaugural Chair of the Investor Advisory Panel to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC)
- Paul Bates, Chartered Professional Accountant, and
- Lawrence Haber, Executive Chair of the Board of Diversified Royalty Corp
According to Finance Minister Charles Sousa, “the appointment of this expert committee reaffirms Ontario’s commitment to reform and strengthen the Province’s financial services sector, protect investors and consumers, and bolster the stability and efficiency of financial markets.”
The committee will submit the final report and recommendations to the government by early 2016.