An international non-profit organisation has been set up to raise minimum standards of knowledge, advice and service among financial advisers around the world.
The Financial Planning Standards Board will push for certified financial planners to have the status of accountants and lawyers.
The FPSB will set standards for the 45,000 non-US certified financial planners across 17 country associations.
These standards have previously been determined by the US Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
Nine members will be elected to the FPSB, expected to include representatives from Canada, Japan, Australia, US and Switzerland. Each country association will be able to alter the standards drawn up by the FPSB to comply with their own country's regulations, tax laws and education needs but alterations have to be approved by the FPSB.
FPSB chief executive Noel Maye says the aim is to establish the CFP as a globally recognised mark of qualified financial planners. He says: “We want clients to know that when they see a planner who has the CFP certificate, they will receive a certain level of service based on holistic financial planning rather than being sold a product.
“The creation of the FPSB will strengthen our ability to educate the public about the financial planning process and the professionalism of CFP certificants.”
Nick Cann, chief executive of the Institute of Financial Planning, which has 370 CFPs in the UK, says this will be achieved by educating financial advisers and the public about the benefits of constructing a plan so clients can achieve their financial and lifestyle goals.
He says CFPs have to meet standards on practice and competence based on education, examination, experience and ethics. They are audited once a year and complaints are investigated. The IFP has the right to suspend CFPs who do not meet the minimum standards.
Cann says another aim of the body is to encourage more graduates to enter the financial planning sector.