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Certification Updates

Financial Planning Coalition Shares With Congress new Poll Demonstrating Strong Public Support for Financial Planning Standards in Upcoming Regulation Bill

Feb 16, 2010

Washington, DC, February 16, 2010 – The Financial Planning Coalition, a group of three leading organizations representing 75,000 financial planning professionals who serve millions of consumers, today sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs announcing results of new poll indicating overwhelming public support for higher standards for financial planning. The Coalition continued to urge the Committee to include regulation of financial planners as part of the Financial Regulatory Bill currently under consideration by Congress. Financial planning is the process of advising individuals and families across a range of personal finance topics in addition to investment advice.

“For years, a lack of regulation in the financial planning industry has allowed untrained and unethical individuals to take advantage of American consumers. This is a rare instance where industry practitioners and consumers agree that America needs more regulation of financial planning,” said the Coalition. “The Financial Planning Coalition strongly supports new standards establishing ethical guidelines and licensing methods to help reduce opportunities for fraud and misrepresentation and build consumer confidence. We urge the Senate Banking Committee to include our proposal in its upcoming financial reform package to help bring a new level of transparency and accountability to the industry.”

Over 400 attentive voters, who were defined by their propensity to pay attention to news and politics and engage politically, as well as by income and education, participated in the survey, conducted by Global Strategy Group from January 20-24 in Washington, D.C. earlier this year.

Among the survey’s key findings:

  • Support is very high for more regulation for financial planners. When presented with the Financial Planning Coalition’s proposed plan for increased regulation and oversight, 83% of the subjects said they support it and only 7% opposed it.
  • Voters believe that regulations and standards for financial planners are necessary to prevent abuse and to better serve consumers. 91% of the voters surveyed said they were convinced by a statement describing the proposed regulations as including provisions to “ensure that financial planners pass tests measuring competency,” to “establish ethical guidelines” to “have the ability to discipline financial planners who fail to follow the guidelines,” and to “make all of this information available to consumers.”
  • Financial planners are well-regarded, but are in an industry for which more regulation is supported. Over half of D.C. area attentive voters (54%) gave financial planners a positive rating, while only 18% rated them negatively.(By contrast, stock brokers scored 22% positive, 37% negative.)

Read the full survey summary here.

The Coalition has proposed legislation that would regulate a currently unregulated industry. The proposal would, among other things, create an independent financial planning oversight board that would be responsible for establishing and enforcing competency and ethical standards among all financial intermediaries who use the title “financial planner.” The board would make all of this information available to consumers so they can be confident that, when they choose a financial planner, the planner is well-qualified and will put the consumers’ interests first.

About the Financial Planning Coalition:
The Financial Planning Coalition is a collaboration of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) to advise legislators and regulators on how to best protect consumers by ensuring financial planning services are delivered with fiduciary accountability and transparency.

To learn more, please visit www.financialplanningcoalition.com.

About the Global Strategy Group:
Global Strategy Group is a public opinion research firm with 16 years of experience conducting surveys for clients across the country and around the world. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, associations, political candidates and governments. We have conducted over 2,000 separate surveys on topics that range from the most pressing concerns of the day to issues that are unique to very particular audiences.

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PRESS CONTACT:
Carolyn Englar
P: 202-429-4940
E: carolynenglar@rational360.com

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