Cross-Border Practice for CFP Professionals

As economic activity in each territory is increasingly impacted by regional and global events, as financial opportunities transcend borders, as consumers and their families become increasingly mobile, financial planners need to appreciate environments across borders, and sometimes cross borders, to provide financial planning advice to clients.  In an effort to support the increasing global footprint of the financial planning profession and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional community, FPSB has developed guidance for how CFP professionals can continue to use the CFP marks when practicing across borders.

When CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals practice across borders, two issues come into play: (1) the individual’s competency to practice in another territory given that each territory has its own laws, products, customs and regulatory environment, and (2) the requirement that individuals using the CFP marks in a given territory have been assessed as appropriately qualified to hold themselves out as competent and ethical financial planners in that territory. FPSB recognizes that the cross-border level of activity engaged in by a CFP professional can vary from incidental use of the CFP marks while speaking at a conference through to acting as a qualified financial planning advice provider to clients in another territory. We have developed guidance to deal with the following scenarios:

Hold CFP Certification in Multiple Territories

Scenario 1: “I am a CFP professional and would like to maintain my CFP certification in my home territory and gain CFP certification in a new territory.”

For example, a CFP professional who moves from China to Singapore continues to support existing clients in China as well as new clients in Singapore. This may be a move within the same multi-national company.

Scenario 2: “I am a CFP professional and would like to practice in an area that straddles an international border.”

For example, a CFP professional living in Northeast France has clients in Germany and Switzerland, as well as in France.

Scenario 3: “I am a CFP professional with an online practice and have clients from multiple territories.”

For example, a CFP professional in an FPSB territory serves all clients via the Internet, regardless of the clients’ physical location.

Guidance: When CFP professionals want to practice financial planning using the CFP marks in more than one territory, where FPSB has a member organization, the CFP professional must become certified to use the CFP marks in each territory where the CFP professional intends to practice. If a practitioner becomes certified in more than one territory, he or she must abide by the certification renewal requirements of the FPSB member organization in each territory, and the individual will be subject to oversight by the FPSB member organization in each of the territories.

Learn more  about cross-border requirements for a specific FPSB territory. If the territory you are seeking is not listed, please send an email to info@fpsb.org.

Transfer CFP Certification From One Territory to Another

Scenario 4: “I am a CFP professional and would like to gain CFP certification in a new territory and drop my CFP certification from my original territory.”

For example, a CFP professional moves from New Zealand to the United Kingdom and does not plan to continue to support former clients in New Zealand. This may be a move within the same multi-national company.

Guidance: When CFP professionals would like to gain CFP certification in a new territory, they must meet the CFP certification requirements of the new territory. In recognition of the fact that the practitioner has obtained CFP certification in an FPSB territory, some FPSB member organizations offer abbreviated CFP exams and/or expedited CFP certification application processes for “non-native” CFP professionals.

Practitioners should wait until they successfully complete the CFP certification requirements in the new territory and have been granted CFP certification by the FPSB member organization in the new territory BEFORE dropping their existing CFP certification.

Learn more about cross-border requirements for a specific FPSB territory. If the territory you are seeking is not listed, please send an email to info@fpsb.org.

Maintain CFP Certification From Home Territory and Practice Temporarily in a Different Territory

Scenario 5: “I am a CFP professional and would like to maintain my CFP certification in my home territory and temporarily practice in a new territory without getting CFP certification in the new territory.”

For example, a CFP professional makes a temporary, job-related move from Canada to the U.S. and wants to maintain their original CFP certification obtained in Canada while serving clients in both Canada and the U.S.

Guidance: As a CFP professional who plans to practice in more than one territory, the practitioner must become certified by the FPSB member organization in each territory (if they want to use the CFP marks while practicing financial planning in both territories). If the individual will be using the CFP marks and serving clients in more than one territory, he or she must abide by the certification renewal requirements of FPSB member organizations in both the home territory and the new territory. The CFP professional will be subject to CFP certification obligations and oversight by the FPSB member organization in each territory.

Learn more about cross-border requirements for a specific FPSB territory. If the territory you are seeking is not listed, please send an email to info@fpsb.org.

CFP professionals who do not want to become certified in a new territory, but who wish to communicate that they have obtained CFP certification in the territory of initial certification, may do so in the form of the following biographical statement:

“Simon Lim, certified to advise on Malaysian financial planning matters by the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia, a Member of Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd.”

This policy applies in all situations, regardless of whether FPSB has a member organization administering CFP certification in a territory. For example, at present, FPSB does not have a CFP certification program in Mexico. If a practitioner intended to hold out as a CFP professional while in Mexico, the individual would need to comply with this policy. Please read the full FPSB’s Cross-Border Marks Use Policy

Represent Yourself as a CFP Professional From One Territory While Temporarily in Another Territory

Scenario 6: “I am a CFP professional and would like to maintain CFP certification in my home territory and represent that I am a CFP professional while in a new territory.”

For example, a CFP professional gives a lecture during a conference being held in a territory where CFP certification is present (e.g. the practitioner holds CFP certification in Ireland and will give a lecture in South Africa).

Another example would be a CFP professional in the the Republic of Korea who has a number of clients with seasonal homes in Thailand. The practitioner wants to travel to Thailand to visit his Korea-based clients.

Guidance: In these situations, the practitioner would not need to become certified in the new territory, but the individual must accurately represent his or her CFP certification as NOT being granted by the FPSB member organization in the temporary location. The practitioner may do so in the form of the following biographical statement:

“Simon Lim, certified to advise on Korean financial planning matters by Financial Planning Standards Board Korea, a Member of Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd.”

This policy applies in all situations regardless of whether FPSB has a member organization administering the CFP certification in a territory. For example, at present, FPSB does not have a CFP certification program in Peru. If a practitioner intended to hold out as a CFP professional while in Peru, the individual would need to comply with this policy. Please read the full FPSB’s Cross-Border Marks Use Policy