The Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), jointly announced on January 23 that CIRO is now approved as a credentialling body under Ontario’s Financial Professionals Title Protection Act, 2019

The addition of CIRO to FSRA’s list of approved credential providers now brings that list to five organizations, including FP Canada, Advocis’ Institute for Advanced Financial Education, the Canadian Securities Institute and the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning.

“CIRO now has the authority to grant credentials that permit individuals to use the financial advisor title in Ontario,” they write. Those who may use the financial advisor title include registered representatives, mutual fund dealing representatives, portfolio managers and associate portfolio managers of CIRO-member firms.

“By approving CIRO as a credentialling body, tens of thousands more investment professionals will be able to use the financial advisor title. Officially being recognized as a financial advisor will further the value of CIRO members and the recognition of their education and expertise,” said Huston Loke, executive vice president, market conduct at FSRA. “This arrangement leverages CIRO’s demonstrated, robust complaint handling and disciplinary framework, which enhances consumer protection and fosters a more sustainable, competitive financial services sector.” 

CIRO’s president and CEO, Andrew Kriegler adds: “Receiving accreditation through CIRO will allow financial services professionals in Ontario to use the financial advisor title, while avoiding any duplication of regulatory requirements or cost.” 

According to the announcement, the regulators, together with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) worked together to ensure CIRO’s participation would not result in regulatory duplication. FSRA has committed to reviewing the title protection framework by March 31, 2024, to evaluate its effectiveness. “The review will also include an evaluation of credentialling body policies and processes, including complaint handling and disciplinary practices.”