Protect your finances by choosing a Trusted Contact Person

Has your investment advisor asked you to appoint a trusted contact person (TCP) on your account? The Canadian Securities Administrators recently introduced a new industry standard – a Trusted Contact Person (TCP) – to help investment advisors protect their vulnerable clients of all ages. At some point in life, you could experience a health issue that affects your ability to make sound decisions, or a decline in financial awareness as you age, leaving you reliant on family members or caregivers. This could make you a target for financial exploitation.

From now on, when you open an account or update your personal information, an investment advisor should ask if there is a TCP that can be added to your account to help ensure you are protected.

What is a TCP?

A TCP is someone you authorize to be contacted if your advisor suspects you may be experiencing financial abuse or exploitation, if they feel poor financial decisions are being made out of character or if they are unable to reach you.

Who can be a TCP?

A trusted contact may be any one of the following:

  • Close friend or family member
  • Caregiver
  • Accountant
  • Another third party who you believe would respect your privacy and know how to handle the responsibility

To set up your chosen TCP with your investment advisor, you’ll need to know your contact’s phone number and physical address and confirm their relationship to you.

How is a TCP different from a Power of Attorney?

It’s also important to remember that a TCP is not the same as a power of attorney (POA) – an individual you should also appoint and ensure your investment advisor has a record of. Unlike a POA, your TCP does not have the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf – their role is limited to non-financial matters and ensuring your wellbeing. However, this person can alert your investment advisor if he or she doesn’t believe a POA is acting in your best interest.

Who needs a TCP?

Seniors or other vulnerable people who may be more susceptible to financial fraud or age-related mental health issues should ensure they have a TCP in place, but it’s also another layer of safety for anyone. Having a trusted contact puts your investment advisor in a better position to help keep your finances safe.

When should I appoint a TCP?

The best time to choose a TCP is when you open an account, but you can add this information to your account by completing the TCP form with your investment advisor when you update your personal information.

If you know someone who could benefit from assigning a TCP, be sure to share this information with them.