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CII gets to the core with proposals for level four

The Chartered Insurance Institute is calling for QCF level four qualifications to consist of three compulsory core subjects in addition to elective subjects covering specialist areas.

In its third professionalism paper, published last week, the CII proposes that the diploma’s core subjects should be fundamentals, products and their uses and personal financial planning.

It says the fundamentals subject should include UK financial services, regulation and ethics, investment principles, risk and advice and taxation.

The CII says that products and their uses should encompass debt, protection, investment and pension products.

It suggests candidates should then choose from a range of ten additional modules tailoring their qualification to their specialisms. These could include pensions and retirement opt-ions, advising on pension transfers, equity release, long-term care insurance and supervision in a regulated environment.

The CII says higher-level options could also be offered such as business financial planning, advanced trusts, specialist investment products and adv-anced mortgages. It calls for the level four qualification to dem-and a minimum of 370 hours study time, across all qualification providers to ensure consistency between awarding bodies.

It is also looking at various testing methods, including multiple choice, short answer and essay-style questions.

CII director of financial services markets Stephen Jenkins says: “We want people to follow specialisms that reflect what they do in their everyday job, built on a base of core knowledge. What we will be doing is developing transitional arrangements to level four and above.”

He does not believe the level three certificate will become defunct after the 2012, arguing it could become a stepping stone for people wanting to enter the industry, people performing back-office functions or for those offering guided sales.

Tower Hill Associates director John Lang says: “This sounds like a practical solution with what looks to be a significant number of hours required to reach the higher level of qualification.”



Proof is in the pudding

The figures say it all really. IFAs are responsible for just 3 per cent of complaints to the FOS and only 33 per cent of those are upheld. Banks on the other hand are responsible for 59 per cent of complaints and a whopping 69 per cent are upheld.

Manager focus: Patrick Ryan

Lazard Asset Management’s Patrick Ryan is adding stocks he says will not only survive a recession, but also participate in a rally, as the world’s economic future is too difficult to call.

A shore thing

Over the past few weeks, I have been looking at the impact of the proposed 2009 Budget changes to income tax – notably the introduction of a top rate of 50 per cent and the removal of higher- rate tax relief for pension contributions made by those with incomes of more than 150,000. I have also been reviewing the alternatives to pension investments, focusing on investments whose taxation treatment will be affected by the Budget.

Banks double the adviser figure for upheld FOS complaints

The Financial Ombudsman Service upheld 69 per cent of bank complaints in the last year, more than double the 33 per cent upheld against advisers.Figures obtained from the FOS by Money Marketing show that the uphold rate for life insurance/investment product providers was 36 per cent in 2008/09. The figure was 45 per cent for both […]


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