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CFP Board Disciplinary Statistics

CFP Board requires CFP® professionals to adhere to CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct ("Standards"), which includes the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards.

As part of CFP Board’s active enforcement of the ethical rules and practice standards, CFP® professionals and those seeking initial CFP® certification are required to disclose matters that may indicate non-compliance with CFP Board’s Standards, such as regulatory investigations, lawsuits customer complaints, terminations, bankruptcies and arbitrations. CFP Board also conducts routine background checks and utilizes several public and private resources to obtain information that might indicate violations of the Standards. Additionally, the public may file complaints directly with CFP Board. CFP Board’s Professional Standards department is responsible for reviewing all ethics-related matters brought to the attention of CFP Board.

Cases Opened and Closed by Year

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

 2012

Cases Opened

1025

1324

2205

1282

1471

1306

831

1363

1472

1569

 866

Cases Closed

882

1224

2138

1323

1627

1296

457

1263

1424

1345

 1496

Most CFP Board investigations do not result in disciplinary proceedings. If CFP Board obtains evidence indicating that violations of CFP Board’s ethical rules or practice standards exist, however, the matter is referred to the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission), which will hold a hearing and, where significant violations are found, impose a public discipline.

Public disciplinary action by the Commission can take one of four forms: a public letter of admonition; an interim suspension where the alleged conduct poses an immediate threat to the public and impinges upon the stature and reputation of the CFP® marks; a suspension for up to five years of the individual’s CFP® certification; or a permanent revocation of the individual’s CFP® certification. The type of discipline imposed will depend on the severity of the violations, any mitigating or aggravating circumstances, and the individual’s cooperation with CFP Board’s investigation. Disciplines imposed by the Commission may be appealed to CFP Board’s Appeals Committee, which may affirm or modify the Commission’s findings and discipline, remand a case for further consideration by the Commission, or dismiss the matter.

CFP Board issues a news release announcing public disciplinary actions approximately three times a year.

Hearing Decisions

Decision

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

 2012

Dismissed Without Merit

9

12

7

1

4

0

4

1

0

1

 2

Dismissed With Caution

26

20

8

4

7

3

2

12

7

1

 7

Private Censure

24

17

32

23

31

23

18

19

25

14

 11

Letter of Admonition

8

7

15

9

8

4

3

4

17

31

 27

Suspension (up to 5 years)

11

7

10

5

6

6

4

5

30

25

 18

Interim Suspension Issued

0

0

1

1

3

1

2

8

7

0

 4

Revocation

2

3

5

7

3

4

6

4

2

3

 8

Admin Revocation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

16

 33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Settlement Offers Accepted

14

9

6

5

13

9

13

8

12

8

 10

Settlement Offers Countered

10

12

8

11

23

9

8

14

31

30

 10

Settlement Offers Rejected

12

6

5

5

1

5

0

1

4

7

 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Hearings

110

88

99

73

98

69

561

842

103

135

 107

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Appeals Hearings

5

5

2

3

4

1

3

4

4

10

 11

1 Some Hearing Decisions included a stay or continuance to next Hearings
2 One Hearing resulted in a stay

Learn more about CFP Board's Disciplinary Process

Report Misconduct by a CFP® Professional

Speaker's Bureau
CFP Board’s leadership and representatives are available for interviews and speaking engagements on personal finance, the financial planning profession, CFP Board and the CFP® designation.

Did You Know?

Among clients who work with an advisor, 87% of those working with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared with 72% of those who work with an advisor without certification.
Anyone can call himself a “financial planner.” Only professionals who meet CFP Board’s rigorous standards can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.
The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings and investments than those without a plan.
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