The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA) released draft regulations under The Financial Planners and Financial Advisors Act relating to title protection. The legislation and proposed regulations are based primarily on Ontario’s framework of requiring approval for credentialing bodies (CBs) and their financial planner or financial advisor credentials, but which recognizes provincial distinctions. The draft regulation establishes approval criterial for CBs as well as for credentials in order for a person to be permitted to use the title of financial planner or financial advisor. Examples of baseline competency profiles are set out in the consultation, including expected client outcomes when dealing with retail clients. The regulations include a “best interest” standard of care, including that a financial planner or financial advisor must put the client’s interest first when making a suitability determination. The FCAA is seeking comments on a number of specific questions, and is looking for some examples of titles that could reasonably be confusing with the title of financial planner or financial advisor. The transition period for persons already using one of those titles as of July 3, 2020 is proposed to be four years from the date the regulation comes into force for the financial planner title, and two years for the financial advisor title. The comment period ends October 1, 2021.

Following existing rules in Québec and proposed rules in Ontario and Saskatchewan, the Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick (FCNB) has begun its own consultation on a framework for the protection of titles used by financial professionals. Some differences between the proposed regulations in Ontario and Saskatchewan are noted in the consultation, including that Saskatchewan will have different penalties and enforcement provisions for people who use protected titles without authorization and a process for approving CBs already approved in another province. The FCNB is seeking feedback on a number of questions, including whether New Brunswick should adopt enforcement powers similar to those available in the Saskatchewan legislation, and a simplified method for approving CBs already credentialled elsewhere. It is also considering setting out a list of prohibited titles as is currently the case in Québec, including titles such as “financial consultant” and “private wealth advisor” which are considered to be confusing to the “financial planner” title. Comments are being accepted until October 25, 2021.

If you wish to provide comments on any or all of the proposals affecting the use of the financial advisor or financial planner title, please contact your usual lawyer at AUM Law.

August 31, 2021