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Fiduciary Group Takes Aim at CFP Board’s Proposed Standards

March 13, 2018

The CFP Board’s best interest code of standards is “a mess” that sows confusion among the advisors who are supposed to adhere to it and the public that’s supposed to benefit from it, says the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, adding its voice to a chorus of opposition.

As Financial Advisor magazine reports, the institute — which exists to promote the client-first fiduciary standard in financial services as equally vital to investors, capital markets and the economy — blasted the CFP Board’s best-interest standards in a pair of webinars last week on the grounds they imply that all 80,000 CFP mark holders are fiduciary practitioners, not just the 15% of that number who are fee-only FAs.

One Institute for the Fiduciary Standard leader, advisor and RIA owner Rick Kahler, claimed the CFP Board’s standards — its effort to delineate rules among its membership for disclosure — could lead to CFP members putting out ads just “a step short of fraudulent,” Financial Advisor magazine reports.

Though the comment period on the CFP’s code of standards ended on Feb. 2, the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard hopes its continued opposition will result in changes to the standards, which are supposed to be made public within a few months and take force next year.

And the CFP Board doesn’t rule out the possibility of taking post-comment period views onboard, writes Financial Advisor magazine.

The standards are also under fire from the Financial Services Institute, which represents eight broker-dealers, says Financial Advisor magazine. It has asked the CFP Board to hold off until the SEC introduces the new finance-industry regulations it says it has in mind.

The CFP Board demurs on that point, telling the brokerage-backed FSI it’s not willing to wait who knows how long for the SEC, a notorious heel-dragger, to act.

By Thomas Coyle
  • To read the Financial Advisor article cited in this story, click here.