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News Release

CFP Board Takes Transparent Approach With New "Anonymous Case Histories"

April 07, 2010

Washington, DC, April 8, 2010 – Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. announced today that a collection of newly formatted ‘Anonymous Case Histories’ is now available to the public online at

The Anonymous Case Histories are detailed summaries of actual cases heard by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, the body charged with hearing allegations of misconduct by CFP® certificants. The newly formatted Anonymous Case Histories represent cases heard by the Commission during the period November 2007 to July 2009.

CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”) determines whether a CFP® certificant has violated one or more of the ethical and practice standards contained in CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct (“Standards”). When appropriate, the Commission may impose disciplinary action against a certificant, including revocation, suspension (up to five years), public letter of admonition, or private censure. The Commission may also dismiss a case. The case histories are considered important resources for certificants and compliance officers seeking clarification of the Standards.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Kevin R. Keller said: “CFP Board is opening its file cabinets today. The ultimate goal of putting this sensitive information online is both to improve our transparency as a standards setting body for the financial planning profession, and to provide a new user-friendly resource to our CFP® certificants. The improved format of our Anonymous Case Histories and the online accessibility creates an important tool for anyone who is interested in learning how CFP Board proceeds in matters that require disciplinary action.”

The Anonymous Case Histories will enable certificants and members of the public to identify specific types of activities that CFP Board deems to be contrary to the Standards. The Anonymous Case Histories may also be useful to a CFP® certificant preparing to appear before the Commission, and in the Commission’s determination whether a contemplated offer of settlement is appropriate, given the precedent of decisions rendered by the Commission.

The new histories provide clear identification of the issue or issues in the case, a detailed description of the Commission’s factual findings, and the Commission’s rationale in determining whether a rule was violated and its reasoning for imposing a particular sanction. Another difference from past case summaries is the inclusion of interim suspension orders (imposed in cases involving criminal convictions, license suspensions and/or an alleged pattern of misconduct) and the outcome of hearings before CFP Board’s Appeals Committee.

About CFP Board: The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board’s mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® certificants and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 61,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States. For more about CFP Board, visit

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