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CISI And FINRA Announce Cooperation

Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment

Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority of the USA (FINRA) have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will provide FINRA member UK-based retail investment advisers a program to meet the new UK exam standards to continue to be able to advise on securities and derivatives in the UK market and be entitled to CISI membership.

Changes to UK exam standards by the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) for authorised retail investment advisers, under the new Retail Distribution Review (RDR), state that additional learning content and adherence to mandated ethical standards will be required by all holders of the Series 7 qualification, whether they are already FSA authorised or seeking future FSA authorisation as Retail Advisers in Securities and/or Derivatives.

The FINRA/CISI MoU will ensure that relevant FINRA members holding the Series 7 – General Securities Representative Examination — will be able to maintain or achieve authorisation as Retail Investment Advisers in Securities and/or Derivatives from the FSA.

Under the terms of the MoU the parties envision the potential for FINRA to offer CISI exams, in particular those required to meet the FSA benchmark standard for qualification as Retail Investment Advisers in Securities.

FINRA is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States and is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation.

FINRA members holding the Series 7 qualification will be offered the Associate Member (ACSI) CISI grade of membership or full membership (MCSI) where they satisfy qualification and experience criteria.

Simon Culhane, Chartered FCSI and CISI CEO said: “We are very pleased to announce this partnership with FINRA which will allow its members to ensure they meet the highest standards of competence, comply with our recognised Code of Conduct and to apply for their annual Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) as required by the UK FSA for all Retail Investment Advisers from 31 December 2012.”

John C. Kalohn, Vice President, Testing and Continuing Education, FINRA said: “We have worked cooperatively with CISI over the years and this MoU brings us closer together.  Given today’s global markets, we view the MoU as an important step in recognizing how qualification bodies must work together to help ensure the highest level of competence for intermediaries dealing with public customers.”


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