The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. has released a second exposure draft of proposed changes to its, “Standards of Professional Conduct.”

The board will be accepting comments on the draft through April 25.

In 2005, the board of directors began a review of the CFP Board's ethics-related functions. After receiving more than 300 responses to an initial exposure draft released in July 2006, the board of directors appointed an Ethics Task Force to review the comments and recommend a course of action.

“[The majority of the comments] addressed whether the CFP Board should require CFP professionals to adhere to a fiduciary duty of care,” said board member Marilyn Capelli Dimitroff, chairwoman of the task force said. “It was most encouraging to find that those on both sides of the fiduciary debate were in agreement that the CFP Board’s ethical standards must put the interest of the client first.”

The proposed revisions include a requirement that a CFP professional “shall at all times place the interest of the client ahead of his or her own,” replacing the standard of “reasonable and prudent professional judgment” contained in the current ethics code.

Another proposed revision includes a requirement that CFP professionals who provide financial planning services must do so with the duty of care of a “fiduciary,” a term partly defined as acting “in the best interest of the client.”

The complete draft can be viewed online, at www.cfp.net/aboutus/Exposure_Draft.asp, and a brief online survey can also be accessed at the site, for those wishing to provide feedback without preparing a formal comment.

The CFP Board currently certifies more than 54,500 individuals.


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