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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

CFP Board Toughens Duty Of Care Standards

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The group that oversees the Certified Financial Planner professional designation has updated its ethical standards.

Members of the board of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., Denver, have voted to adopt a revised version of the CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct.

The new standards apply to 54,500 U.S. holders of the CFP designation and will take effect July 1, 2008, CFP Board officials say.

The new standards require a CFP holder to “at all times place the interest of the client ahead of his or her own.”

That requirement replaces a provision that required CFP holders to exercise “reasonable and prudent professional judgment,” CFP Board officials say.

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The new standards also require CFP holders who provide financial planning services do so with the duty of care of a “fiduciary” who is acting “in the best interest of the client.”

In the past, CFP holders simply had to perform services “in the interest of the client,” CFP Board officials say.

The board began the revision project in 2005.

The CFP Board has trademarked the CFP designation, and it can punish violators of CFP standards by revoking a CFP holder’s right to use the CFP designation, board officials say.