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CII looks to toughen up criteria for chartered firms

Firms could be required to employ more chartered individuals in order to qualify as a corporate chartered firm, under proposed guidance published by the Chartered Insurance Institute today.

The CII has published a consultation paper to determine future standards after announcing in June it was carrying out a review to ensure standards meet customers’ expectations.

In addition to consulting on existing criteria – such as at least one of the firm’s appropriate management team needing to hold the CII chartered financial planner title – the CII is proposing that chartered individuals must be ‘prominent’ in the advice process.

Firms must demonstrate this through one of the following means: at least half of the firm’s advisers must be chartered individuals; a chartered individual must triage all new customers; or a chartered individual must sign off all advice before it is issued.

Since announcing the review in June, the CII has conducted one-on-one interviews with stakeholders in the insurance and financial planning sectors, and focus groups with consumers and small and medium-sized businesses.

It says the public believes that being a chartered financial planner should represent an ethical approach, quicker redress and greater transparency. They expect chartered individuals to be prominent in corporate chartered firms, especially in the management and leadership of the business and/or the provision of advice.

The CII says it aims to provide clearer guidance on the standards that underpin a corporate chartered firm, relating to conduct and culture as well as technical competency.

The consultation closes on 31 January 2014.

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