Reminder - OSB Releases New Draft Directive on Trustee Designation and Advertising

The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) has released a new draft directive on Trustee Designation and Advertising. CAIRP has been working with the OSB for many seasons in order to make this happen. We are pleased to report that the proposed trustee name designation reflects the results of the CAIRP member survey conducted late last year. test123

The Directive will set out a new professional designation to assist debtors in identifying licensed trustees and prescribe professional standards to which all trustees shall adhere when advertising.

Changing the Directive is a major initiative and CAIRP is of the opinion that it is vitally important that it effectively address best practices in advertising both now and in the future.

CAIRP will be submitting further comments on the draft directive now that is has been released. The practices set out in the new directive will fundamentally affect how our profession will brand itself to the public for years to come. We therefore invite our members to submit their comments on the draft directive during this 30-day public consultation period.

Section 10 (b): Endorsements and Statements of Gratitude

CAIRP has received a great deal of feedback from trustees already expressing their concern in the draft directive regarding the proposed prohibition of the inclusion of endorsements and statements of gratitude in trustee advertising. We strongly encourage our members to submit their positions on Section 10 (b) along with the other comments CAIRP has suggested.

Please feel free to use CAIRP’s detailed comments as set out below in making your own submission. It is important that the OSB hear from as many Trustees as possible on this vital issue.

CAIRP COMMENTS ON DRAFT DIRECTIVE

Purpose:

  • Section 3: There was unanimous agreement among our Board members that business cards should be excluded from the application of the Directive. Trustees can act in so many capacities which are not directly insolvency-related. This inclusion would mean multiple business cards for many of our members, which we are of the opinion is impractical. At the same time, it would be helpful, when trustees are providing insolvency-related services, that a standard signature be suggested to ensure uniformity. This point could be addressed as part of our respective communications efforts when the new Directive is released. 

Designation:

  • In Section 5, we agree that it is essential to highlight the new name of Licensed Trustee in Insolvency and Restructuring. However, we strongly suggest that trustees also be able, at their discretion, to refer to other insolvency-related services (e.g., administrator under a consumer proposal) that they provide as reflected in the other insolvency and restructuring statutes.

  • In Section 6, we suggest that another clause be added to the Section to reinforce that other providers are not permitted to advertise with respect to services reserved exclusively for Licensed Trustees in Insolvency and Restructuring. In our view, the Directive has to be emphatic in this regard.

Professional Standards for Advertising:

  • Section 10: We strongly suggest, in this case, that the prohibition on the use of the term “specialist” apply to business cards as well, as this term has the potential to be abused and to misinform consumers. We also suggest re-inserting some of the language in the current directive with respect to professional courtesy and integrity. We believe that this language could be particularly useful in regulating future advertising practices that cannot be anticipated at this time, especially given changes in technology.

Endorsements and Statements of Gratitude:

  • Section 10 (b): With respect to this section, our Board is unanimous in suggesting that testimonials be allowed, as to prohibit them would seriously disadvantage trustees facing competition from non-licensed providers who frequently use endorsements in their advertising.

We believe that the proposed new designation presents an opportunity to strongly differentiate Licensed Trustees in Insolvency and Restructuring from their competitors and to improve public awareness.

Below you will find the links for proposed Directive 29R3:

Public Consultation Page: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/bsf-osb.nsf/eng/h_br02431.html 

Proposed Directive’s Page: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/bsf-osb.nsf/eng/br03415.html 

Comments on the directive should be sent to Sheila Westerink Robin, National Manager, Policy and Regulatory Affairs, at OSBRegulatoryAffairs@ic.gc.ca.

If you have further questions or need additional information, please contact us at trusteedesignation@cairp.ca.

Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals
277 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 3H2

Phone 416.204.3242   Email info@cairp.ca

www.cairp.ca

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