BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Association of Qualified Financial Planners (http://www.IAQFP.org), the nation's issuer of the Financial Planning profession's single unifying QFP (Qualified Financial Planner) designation, recently submitted written testimony to the House Financial Services Committee's Chairman Bachus on proposals regarding fiduciary standards for Investment Advisers.
"We are concerned that proposals from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to extend a fiduciary standard of care to IAs/Broker-Dealers or independent-private 'RIAs' overlooks the need for the application of currently missing underlying basic and minimal regulatory regimes," says Paul M. League, QFP, CFP® - IAQFP.org Co-Founder. League stated, "The problem is not whether or not one puts the clients interest first (i.e. a core principle in any kind of meaningful fiduciary standard), but that little to no regulations now exist to govern the practices of IAs, such that consumers are completely at risk."
Few understand that IAs are not required to have any experience, training or to take any kind of qualifying exam and that one can become an IA without any licensure, simply by signing up to be one. While expected to comply with the '40 IA Act, clearly the Bernie Madoff's of this world circumvent such oversight by often being their own "Compliance Officer" while the SEC and State Regulators are failing their, albeit minimal, oversight obligations.
Says League, "Until this is changed, the public remains at risk and a new or expanded fiduciary standard will change nothing. Likewise, a more broadly defined and applied fiduciary standard, on those already more than adequately regulated, will help no one and will instead result in increasing the costs of advice to consumers. Instead, IAs need to be subject to equivalent rules, regulations, examination and licensure to help in stopping currently unchecked abuses."
The question is what form of regulation(s) is/are sufficient? At a minimum, all IAs should be subject to the same existing minimum standards as Registered Representatives and other such licensed and regulated financial services persons. IAQFP.org does not oppose FINRA serving as the SRO to enforce uniform standards of compliance and to conduct uniform periodic examinations of IAs/"RIAs," so long as that is limited to non-QFPs.
IAQFP.org is a not-for-profit professional business league association with a constituency of over 100,000 strong devoted to unifying the profession of Financial Planning, and its' duly credentialed professionals, under the single unifying moniker QFP (Qualified Financial Planner). The QFP designation serves to simplify the "designations maze" so that the public can easily find and objectively verify the qualifications of a "Financial Planner." The QFP also distinguishes those trained in the separate and distinct discipline and methodology of Financial Planning. IAQFP.org provides the public with a 24/7 resource to both verify and find a QFP, namely, the QFP Verification Registry of Qualified Financial Planners at http://www.IAQFP.org/qfp_registry.html, and urges the public to first verify persons offering Financial Planning services therein before entering into an advisory relationship.
Contact: Paul M. League, QFP, CFP®
IAQFP.org - Chairperson/President
SOURCE International Association of Qualified Financial Planners