IIROC looks to address use of business titles and financial designations

January 11, 2013

Earlier this week, IIROC published the results of a dealer survey on the use of business titles and financial designations and provided draft guidance on the subject.

According to IIROC, the results of the survey suggest that a wide variety of business titles and financial designations are currently used by licensed representatives within and across firms, including many that do not provide a "meaningful" description of the types of services or products provided to clients. Meanwhile, only about 40% of responding firms had specific written policies and procedures in place respecting the use of titles and financial designations for licensed representatives. That said, 87% of responding firms did have a review and approval process for the use of such titles and designations.

The proposed guidance, meanwhile, communicates IIROC's expectations that firms will implement policies and procedures on business titles and the use of financial designations that will "promote greater transparency" for clients. To increase public understanding, IIROC suggests that business titles be coupled with an explanation of an individual's IIROC approval category and corresponding proficiencies. With respect to the approval of financial designations, IIROC states that a number of factors should be considered, including whether the designation has a rigorous curriculum, a continuing education requirement and a public disciplinary process.

IIROC is accepting comments on its draft guidance until March 9, 2013. For more information, see IIROC Notice 13-0005.

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