New sanction guidelines set to take effect on Aug. 27 were the topic of a CFP Board webinar Tuesday, during which speakers offered examples of their application and attendees discussed their effects on planners.
The webinar was presented by Christopher Beard, chairman of the 2012 disciplinary and ethics commission (DEC), which is in charge of sanctioning certified financial planners; Michael Shaw, managing director of professional standards and legal for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards; and Adam Zajac, CFP Board’s adjudicatory counsel. During the presentation, the guidelines were presented as a means of ensuring “consistency, fairness and transparency in the disciplinary aspect of CFP Board’s mission.”
While the DEC will continue to rely on anonymous case histories, the guidelines offer an additional tool, according to Beard, that will assist it in reaching decisions that are “fair, consistent and transparent.” Although the sanction guidelines offer recommended sanctions for specific instances of conduct, the commission will continue to use its own judgment and experience in considering the facts of each case.
Suggestions received during the public comment period on the guidelines resulted in increases to some proposed penalties; forgery, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty all saw suggested penalties raised to a suspension of a year and a day.