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FSA to impose 30-month qualification deadline for new advisers

The FSA is imposing a 30-month deadline for advisers to complete all modules of their qualification as part of new requirements for individuals carrying out retail activities.

The FSA has today published proposals to strengthen its competence requirements.

The regulator says the 30-month requirement will not apply to existing advisers, deemed competent at June 30, 2009, who must be fully qualified to QCF level four by the end of 2012.

Individuals who joined the retail investment advice sector after June 30, 2009 will need to comply with the new time limit.

The FSA says the limit will start from the date that final rules are published, likely to be the end of 2010.

The paper states that if an individual is continuously absent for periods of 60 business days or more, the time can be disregarded from the 30-month limit, for example for medical reasons.

It adds that individuals who fail to meet the time limit must stop the associated regulated activity until they pass the qualification.

The FSA states: “We do not propose to apply a time limit within which an individual needs to be assessed as competent, which is more than just passing a qualification. This will remain the firm’s responsibility, based on their assessment of the risk associated with an individual continuing to operate under supervision.

“We do not expect individuals to operate under supervision indefinitely or revert to operating under supervision as a means to avoid our requirements under RDR professionalism.”

The FSA’s proposals will also remove some transitional provisions for designated investment business, which allow individuals to operate without formal qualifications, due to arrangements under their previous regulator.

The FSA says individuals relying on these provisions, introduced in 2001, will have 30 months to gain full qualifications from the time the new rules are enacted.

The FSA is also proposing to introduce a new ethical code for all sectors of the industry, not just investment advisers. It says this is likely to cost the industry £616,000 annually.

FSA director of conduct policy Sheila Nicoll says: “Competence and ethics are key elements of our regulatory regime and we have increased our scrutiny of individuals working in the financial services industry over the last few years.

“Ultimately it is in a firm’s commercial interest to recruit, train and retain good quality individuals but regulation ensures that standards of competence and ethics are maintained at an appropriate level.

“We have designed these proposals to enhance consumer protection by strengthening our competence and approved persons requirements. We want to see firms operating robust training and competence schemes and individuals demonstrating good standards of ethical behaviour.”


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There are 13 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. “Competance and ethics are key elements of our regulatory regime”

    Pity the FSA don’t uphold the standards they set for IFAs

  2. Great strategy …get rid of some very highly qualified CFP’s/Chartered Financial Planners under the Park Row witch hunt and then put new advisers under pressure!

  3. Incompetent Regulators Awards Team 4th June 2010 at 10:49 am

    I wish the FSA would just shut up. After the Mansion house speech they may be history anyway.

    Ciao Ciao boys

  4. All we need now is for the blathering jobsworths at the FSA to become qualified in something remotely connected to financial services and regulation might improve.

  5. The FSA, or whatever it will be called next year, is on a sticky wicket with all this.

  6. Maybe there should be a new module set:


    How long will your liability last – six years, fifteen years or forever?

    Do you have a right of appeal against FOS adjudications?

    Does the FOS follow the rules of natural justice?

    If the FOS makes an earlier decision does it follow the legal rules of binding and persuasive precedent or does it just make it up as it goes along?

    With regard to FSA consultation which is correct: Active involvement with those it regulates or templated website with pre defined questions designed to support regulatory prejudice

    Name one recent financial scandal the FSA has stopped before the event: 10 marks available!

    How many hours are there in an IFA working week?

    How many complaints does the IFA sector represent as a proportion of distribution – answers direct to the FSA please!

    Which is the greate problem: The FSA cure or the IFA industry?

  7. Gareth Hopkins 4th June 2010 at 11:32 am

    I’m sure with constant FSA fee hikes and increased level of expenditure on training staff imposed on firms, recruitment of new advisers will increase. – In the FSA’s world.

    I think the joke is on the FSA as in a few years there will be no advisers left to charge disproportionately high fees to.

  8. I think most of what I would have said has been said!
    But just to add to the F Pack, your time is numbered, go quickly and quietly before you destroy the financial services Industry compleatly, by the way I will not be taking any further qualifications and If you attempt to stop me trading you will end up in the Court of Human rights.

  9. Simon Mansell – Brilliant!

    How many Diploma Credits does this module qualify for?

  10. With everyting that is currently going on in the Financial Services industry is this really necessary? What amount of resources have been poured into coming up with this pointless rule?
    This is an organisation that is out of control and in the current climate of prudence and tight financial controls is quite literally wasting resources on regs that achieve nothing. With their head on the chopping block it is alomost panic measures to justify their existence.
    I agree that the FSA is clearly not fit for purpose and should be disbanded as soon as possible and replaced with an organisation the is looking to improve the industry not destroy it.

  11. Pissed Off IFA 4th June 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I hope that these parasites get what is coming to them. I believe Barry Obama is going to nail David Cameron to the floor unless action is taken against them for what they did to JP Morgan. Who are these scumbags at the FSA going to upset next? They certainly know how to win friends and influence people.

  12. Keith Davidson 4th June 2010 at 2:00 pm

    This is a ridiculous and unworkable proposal. It is death bed legislation, unplanned and illegal.

  13. “Ultimately it is in a firm’s commercial interest to recruit, train and retain good quality individuals but regulation ensures that standards of competence and ethics are maintained at an appropriate level.
    Should read “but the cost of regulation, together with stupid and unworkable rule changes, is so high this is no longer viable

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