DENVER (July 21, 2022) – The Financial Planning Association today announced that it will lead a multi-year advocacy effort to gain legal recognition of the term “financial planner” through title protection. The decision, announced today during an annual virtual update on the state of the FPA, will focus the Association’s advocacy efforts in the years to come and strengthen the role of the FPA as a leader in leader in the financial planning profession.
“Financial planning is a true and noble profession that should require practitioners to achieve and maintain standards of competence and ethics,” says 2022 FPA President Dennis J. Moore, MBA, CFP®. “Legal recognition of the term ‘financial planner’ through title protection is an acknowledgment that anyone claiming to be a financial planner meets minimum standards that protect consumers and advance the financial planning profession. »
The path to legal recognition of financial planners is a topic that has been discussed and debated by some organizations and financial services professionals for years and has been explored by the FPA Board of Directors and the Public Policy Council of the FPA. The FPA Board of Directors reviewed the future of the Association’s advocacy efforts and stakeholder contributions, including recent research which showed that 78% of FPA members support title protection. Accordingly, the Board of Directors has decided to make the legal recognition of the term financial planner through title protection the central focus of FPA’s advocacy efforts for four main reasons:
- Protection of the title of “financial planner” will distinguish financial planners other financial service providers. If federal and/or state policymakers continue not to define the term “financial planner,” some will take liberties with the title – even if they don’t provide financial planning services.
- Title protection will set minimum standards for financial planners without creating an unnecessary regulatory burden for those who meet the standards.
- Title protection will allow consumers to identify and engage with a financial planner for holistic and comprehensive financial planning services, with the certainty that their financial health is at the center of this relationship.
- Legal recognition of the title financial planner is a crucial step in recognizing financial planning as a distinct and essential profession. Financial planning is an honorable but young profession, essential to the well-being of consumers and dedicated to the betterment of society. Yet, it has yet to achieve the same level of recognition as other honorable professions, such as medicine, law, and accounting.
Over the coming months, FPA leaders will engage members, partners, allied organizations and other groups on the goal of protecting the Association’s title and explore the many potential strategies the FPA could pursue.
“Currently, there are no minimum standards of competence and ethics for those claiming to be financial planners. Some accrediting bodies have their own prescribed standards, but policy makers haven’t established anything at the state or federal level. Our work in the months ahead, charting our course and identifying minimum standards for anyone calling themselves a financial planner, will be critical to this endeavour,” Moore added.
The FPA will provide regular updates on financialplanningassociation.org and through other means of communication with members and other stakeholders.