TORONTO -- Several provincial securities regulators across Canada have expressed concerns about introducing a mandatory "best interest standard" that would strengthen the relationship between a financial adviser and their client.

A report by the Canadian Securities Administrators says that while the Ontario Securities Commission and New Brunswick's Financial and Consumer Services Commission strongly support the proposed change, regulators in Alberta, B.C., Quebec and Manitoba believe it would not be beneficial.

The report also says that regulators in Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan have expressed concerns, but are open to further consideration of a best interest standard provided substantial revisions are made to add clarity and predictability.

The CSA says the best interest standard would primarily avoid or control conflicts of interest by putting a client's interests ahead of those of their financial adviser. It would also require advisers to provide full, clear, meaningful and timely disclosure to their clients.

While the proposed best interest standard would raise the bar from the current "suitability standard" requiring advisers to deal fairly, honestly and in good faith with clients, the CSA says it is not intended to be legal fiduciary duty.

The OSC says the system in place today merely requires advisers recommend products that are "suitable" for a client at the point of sale based on certain information clients provide, such as their risk tolerance and goals.

The CSA's report follows a consultation paper it launched in April 2016 on the proposed best interest standard, including targeted reforms regarding advisers' know-your-client and know-your-product obligations, as well as the myriad of adviser titles and designations that confuse consumers.