As of Tuesday, all certified financial planner professionals are required to abide by the new CFP Board Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, the board said.

The enforcement is the culmination of five years of work by the board to strengthen the regulations that 87,000 CFP professionals operate under in order to retain their right to use the CFP designation. The rules were adopted on Oct. 1, 2019.

The centerpiece of the new standards is that CFP professionals have to act as fiduciaries whenever they are giving financial advice, putting the clients’ needs above their own.

“This is a significant strengthening of the prior standard, which required a CFP professional to act as a fiduciary only when providing financial planning,” the board said. “The fiduciary obligation includes a duty of loyalty, a duty of care and a duty to follow client instructions.”

The standards also detail the requirements for “disclosing material conflicts of interest, obtaining informed consent, and managing those conflicts,” the board said.

“Requiring CFP professionals to comply with our strengthened code and standards raises the bar for the profession and benefits consumers who make important financial decisions with the assistance of financial planners,” Jack Brod, CFP Board chair, said in a statement.

The new regulations were designed to modernize and strengthen the procedures that CFP mark holders must abide by while doing their business. The extended enforcement date was provided to make sure CFP designees understand and comply with the changes. The CFP website, CFP.net, provides resources to help financial advisors comply with the standards.

To read more stories , click here