What is a Fiduciary?


Under Canadian common law, the highest standard of care is what’s known as a ‘fiduciary obligation’.

It’s an obligation to put the best interests of another person, the beneficiary, ahead of any other consideration.

Doctors and patients, lawyers and clients, parents and children — these are examples of ‘fiduciary relationships’.

Why this matters to FPAC

In all kinds of situations where a person or a professional (the fiduciary) has decision-making power over someone who could be vulnerable to that power, such as a patient or client — the beneficiary — the law upholds the fiduciary standard of care.

But when it comes to financial planning, so far this isn’t the case.

We believe that financial planners can have an outsized positive impact on the lives of their clients — but they can have a negative one too.

The Fiduciary Pledge

As an organization, FPAC believes that this situation is unacceptable, and leaves Canadians vulnerable to unscrupulous dealings.

That’s why, whenever an advisor joins FPAC as a member, they must take The Fiduciary Pledge.

While it’s not the law, it’s a promise all FPAC members make, as role models within the industry, one on which our membership depends.

Read The Pledge

"I pledge to act as a fiduciary in all my dealings with my clients. By making this pledge, I am promising:
To put the needs of clients first, ahead of my needs or the needs of any other party.
To work to help my clients achieve their goals and dreams by acting with the skill, care, prudence, diligence, loyalty and good judgement of a fiduciary, rooting my professional practice in evidence-based advice.
To avoid and minimize conflicts of interest, and to manage and disclose those conflicts which cannot be avoided.
To fully and transparently disclose all sources of my compensation in all of my dealings with clients.
To uphold the code(s) of conduct of the issuing body of my financial planning designation, and to continuously work to improve my skills and practice, and the financial planning industry as a whole.
To encourage other financial planners to uphold the standards and values embodied by this Association, and to aid this and subsequent generations of financial planners to fulfill the Association’s vision for the financial planning industry.
And to help to build awareness of the good that financial planners can do for their clients.”
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