TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 7, 2014) - A survey released by the Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planning reveals that, while many Canadians feel they have insufficient knowledge to adequately plan their financial future, they are also unaware of the lack of regulatory standards in place throughout most of Canada for the financial planners who could help them create a financial plan.
The web survey, which included more than 1,500 Canadians, measured awareness and perceptions of financial planners in Canada.
While most respondents (92%) had heard of the profession of financial planner, less than half (49%) know there is a difference between a financial planner and a financial advisor. Most significantly, 44% of respondents believe there are regulatory standards in place for financial planners.
It's an inaccurate and potentially risky belief for most Canadians, according to Cary List, Chair of the Coalition and President & CEO of the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC®), a not-for-profit organization that develops, promotes and enforces professional standards in financial planning through the granting and enforcement of the Certified Financial Planner® certification.
"In most Canadian provinces, there is no legislated standard in place for those who call themselves financial planners or offer financial planning services," he says. "With the exception of Quebec, where the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) is the only organization authorized to grant financial planning diplomas (Pl. Fin.), people who call themselves financial planners are not required to obtain any credentials whatsoever."
The Coalition, formed in 2009, is comprised of four organizations concerned about protecting consumers' financial planning needs by ensuring there exist adequate and appropriate standards for financial planners. Coalition members, including Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFPs), Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP) and Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF), are in the process of developing a professional self-regulatory framework which would see the official recognition of financial planning as a profession across Canada.
Other key insights from the research include the belief of 66% of respondents that they will need help in planning their financial futures.
"There is no doubt that Canadians need the guidance of competent, professional financial planners," says List. "An aging population, rising consumer debt levels and gaps in workplace wellness programs have left Canadians in the most financially precarious positions that we have experienced in decades."
"Particularly in these times of societal vulnerability, it is important that consumers are appropriately served and protected by qualified financial planners."
To read the full results of the survey, visit http://www.fpsc.ca/documents/awareness-and-perceptions-financial-planners-canada-coalition-research.
For more information on the work of the Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planning, visit http://coalitionforprofessionalstandards.ca.
About the Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planning
The Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planning, formed in 2009, is comprised of four organizations concerned about protecting consumers' financial planning needs by ensuring there exist adequate and appropriate standards for financial planners. Coalition members include Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFPs), Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP) and Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF). Each Coalition member organization has a mandate that supports professional standards in financial planning, is committed to serving the public interest, and engages in education, certification and/or oversight of financial planners.
The Coalition collectively represents over 22,000 individuals who have obtained either a voluntary financial planning designation (CFP® certification or RFP®) or a legislatively required diploma (Pl. Fin.) to practice financial planning in Quebec. Working together as a Coalition, our organizations' mandate is to work towards the establishment of a common professional model and a set of unified national standards which will provide Canadians with clarity and better protection when engaging financial planners.
More information is at http://coalitionforprofessionalstandards.ca/.
CFP®, Certified Financial Planner® and CFP 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.