IFAs will have to be up to scratch on investment knowledge as part of an overhaul of training and competence regulations.
As part of the move towards raising standards, the regulator says it plans to review industry exams early next year, which could result in a streamlining of the number of exams available and retesting.
The FSA says it wants IFAs to improve their knowledge in areas such as investments.
It also wants to raise education levels of backroom staff and dispel the notion of a regulator living in an ivory tower and creating rules without any idea of how the real world operates. The new sourcebook details the T&C requirements expected of financial services firms once the FSA becomes fully operation next year.
The regulator aims to introduce more comprehensive requirements which it hopes will lead to a raising of standards across the board.
Head of industry training David Jackman says: “We think the standards which were set five to six years ago need rev iewing. We want to raise the standards of T&C in areas such as investment advice. Advisers need to raise their standards.
“We will consider retesting in the future. We will determine what is actually in the exams that is relevant for this market.”
IFA Chartwell Asset Management adviser Craig Brady says: “The underlying direction is a good thing. Regardless of what the regulator is doing, all our back-room staff are getting their FPC as a general rule.”