Ontario Financial Services Regulator Encourages Consumers To Verify Credentials With New Online Tool

Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) launches Check Credentials Tool

Toronto, ON (Mar. 1, 2024 – Ontario’s financial services regulator (FSRA) is launching an education campaign encouraging all consumers to check the credentials of the person they are getting financial advice from.

FSRA is making it easy for consumers to do this through a new online tool. The Check Credentials Tool will help individuals verify whether their financial professional holds the necessary credentials to use the Financial Planner or Financial Advisor (or similar) title in Ontario. These titles indicate that the professional has met minimum education standards, is supervised, and adheres to a code of conduct.

“In many cases people are entrusting their life savings to financial professionals and they expect that these people are properly trained and supervised,” said Huston Loke, Executive Vice President of Market Conduct, FSRA. “We encourage consumers to check credentials and we are making it easy through our new Check Credentials Tool.”

Research conducted by FSRA suggests consumers may not be spending enough time seeking out a qualified financial professional and verifying their credentials. Fifty per cent of respondents spent more time researching their last cellphone purchase than they did their financial professional.

In less time than it would take to order groceries online, consumers will be able to find out if their Financial Planner or Financial Advisor, or someone with a similar title, has the right credential to use the title, if they are in good standing, and if they have had any disciplinary action taken against them. Similar titles could include Financial Wealth Planner or Financial Investment Advisor.

Alongside the tool, FSRA encourages consumers to be empowered to ask questions of their financial professional to see if they meet their specific needs. This can include questions about their education and credentials, services they provide and products they sell. Visit Check Credentials to access and learn more about the Check Credentials Tool and for questions to ask.

FSRA continues to work on behalf of all stakeholders, including consumers, to ensure financial safety, fairness, and choice for everyone.

About FSRA

FSRA is an independent regulatory agency created to improve consumer and pension plan beneficiary protections in Ontario.

FSRA was established to replace the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO). The agency is flexible, self-funded and designed to respond rapidly to an evolving commercial and consumer environment. In this capacity, FSRA will:

  • Promote high standards of business conduct;
  • Foster a sustainable, competitive financial services sector;
  • Respond to market changes quickly;
  • Promote good administration of insurance and pension plans; and
  • Encourage innovation.

Learn more about FSRA and our approach to achieving safety, fairness and choice in non-securities financial services at www.fsrao.ca.

SOURCE: Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA)

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