The Financial Planning Coalition today called for legislation that would designate a national organization to oversee the financial planning profession. This oversight body would set standards of ethics and competency for financial planners and would establish rules to promote the fiduciary standard of client care when providing financial planning services.

The Coalition’s proposal would preclude the FINRA from consideration as the regulatory body for financial planners. The Coalition believes that FINRA would have an inherent conflict of interest in this role, as it is a membership organization for the broker dealer community. As the regulator of securities dealers and transactions at the suitability standard of care, it lacks the experience, expertise, and understanding required to exercise appropriate oversight of a profession that provides comprehensive financial advice under the fiduciary standard of care.

"In the wake of the financial crisis and with widespread distrust in Wall Street, now more than ever the public needs to know that those who offer financial advice are competent, ethical, and committed to the best interests of their clients. As part of comprehensive regulatory reform of the financial services industry, we believe it is time for Congress to take bold steps to enhance consumer protection by establishing common-sense, practical regulation of those who advise on financial matters," said the Coalition.