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Filing a Complaint with CFP Board

CFP Board will review all complaints to determine whether a formal investigation is warranted. If CFP Board determines that the conduct alleged in a complaint does not warrant a formal investigation CFP Board will not pursue the complaint.

You may check on whether an advisor is a CFP® professional by using the Verify a CFP® Professional tool on CFP Board's website. Enter the advisor’s name to determine his or her status.

No. CFP Board only has jurisdiction over individuals who hold the CFP® certification. If your advisor is representing himself/herself as a CFP® professional and is not certified, please contact CFP Board immediately via our File a Complaint form or directly emailing compliance@cfpboard.org. Otherwise, you may wish to file your complaint with the SEC, FINRA, or your state’s securities or insurance regulator, depending on your advisor’s licenses.
Yes. However, filing anonymously may hinder CFP Board in its ability to conduct a thorough investigation of your complaint.
No. CFP Board, through its disciplinary body, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“DEC”), may issue public or private discipline to a CFP® professional, if it has found violations of the Code and Standards. However, any discipline the DEC may issue does not include restitution to the client. If you are seeking restitution, you should contact the SEC, FINRA, or your state’s securities or insurance regulator. You may also wish to consult an attorney.

The Consent to Release Documents Form allows CFP Board to request your confidential financial information from the CFP® professional against whom you have filed your complaint as well as from the CFP® professional’s firm.

If CFP Board determines that your complaint raises allegations that may have merit, an analyst will be assigned to your matter. That analyst will send a copy of your complaint to the CFP® professional, and he/she will be required to provide a written response to CFP Board. Your name will be revealed to the CFP® professional as the complainant, unless you specifically ask to remain anonymous. The analyst may contact you to request additional information and documents from you.
No. Pursuant to Article 17 of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, all investigations are confidential. Therefore, CFP Board will not be able to provide you with any updates regarding the status of its investigation of your complaint.
CFP Board’s investigations can take anywhere from a few weeks, to several months, even one year to complete, depending on the nature and complexity of the issues raised in the complaint.
If your complaint is referred to a hearing and the hearing results in a public discipline to the CFP® professional, CFP Board will inform you of the outcome. Otherwise, CFP Board will not provide any information to you on the outcome of its investigation of your complaint.
You may wish to file your complaint with the SEC, FINRA, or your state’s securities or insurance regulator, depending on your CFP® professional’s licenses.
Additional Questions?
If you have additional questions that need answering, please contact us directly at compliance@cfpboard.org.