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News Release

CFP Board Urges Policymakers and Regulators to Act on CFPB Recommendations on Senior Financial Professional Designations

April 17, 2013

Recommendations Would Better Protect Older Americans from Financial Exploitation

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) today urged federal and state policymakers to swiftly adopt recommendations made by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to prevent the misuse of senior designations, certifications and titles used by individuals working in the financial services industry.

“These recommendations mark an important step toward addressing the proliferation of designations, certifications and titles used to mislead, confuse and deceive America’s seniors,” said Kevin R. Keller, CFP Board’s Chief Executive Officer. “We fully support the Bureau in its efforts to shine a light on this significant problem and hope policymakers and regulators will quickly implement these common sense recommendations to better protect older Americans.”

Among the Bureau’s recommendations, CFP Board particularly supports the following:

  • Creating a centralized tool for consumers to research and verify senior designations, including whether the designation meets certain fundamental criteria to be considered a valid and credible designation;
  • Tracking by the Securities and Exchange Commission of complaints related to senior designations, as well as requiring understandable disclosures by any individual claiming expertise specific to seniors;
  • Requiring that those individuals holding senior designations and certifications meet and maintain minimum levels of professional standards, including  education and accreditation, as well as a minimum standard of conduct; and
  •  Increasing the supervision and related enforcement of individuals holding certain designations and working with seniors.