A website maintained by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to help investors find a CFP fails to list regulatory and criminal misconduct and customer complaints for thousands of its credential holders, according to a Wall Street Journal article posted Monday.
The newspaper analyzed more than 72,000 profiles on the LetsMakeAPlan.org site, comparing them to records kept in BrokerCheck by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. BrokerCheck contains background information on registered representatives, including their disciplinary histories.
The WSJ found that more than 6,300 CFPs had Finra disclosures that were not mentioned on the CFP Board's consumer-facing website.
"Among the planners the Journal's analysis flagged, more than 5,000 faced formal complaints from their clients over investment recommendations or sales practices, and hundreds have been disciplined by financial regulators or left brokerage firms amid allegations of misconduct. At least 140 faced or currently face felony charges," WSJ reporters Jason Zweig and Andrea Fuller wrote.
In the article, the CFP Board said it is reconsidering what it should include on its LetsMakeAPlan.org site following the WSJ's investigation.
"In some cases, the Wall Street Journal raises important issues, which we're addressing," the CFP Board said in a statement in the article. "We will continue to evaluate what, if any, additional information should be included on the site."
CFP Board spokesman Dan Drummond declined further comment to InvestmentNews. The organization is set to make an announcement Tuesday, but Mr. Drummond did not provide details about it.
Next June, the CFP Board will begin enforcing a revised fiduciary standard for mark holders that it touts as tougher than the investment advice standards recently approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.