Financial advisors who have not attempted writing the Financial Services Board’s (FSB) regulatory exam before the end of June deadline this year could have their contracts of employment or mandates terminated and be debarred from practicing from the 1 July, according to the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA).
“In both instances their names must be removed from the representative register and the registrar must be informed within 15 days of the respective events. Financial Services Providers (FSPs) must also inform product suppliers and clients of the fact that the representatives have been removed from the register and that they may not give advice or render intermediary services anymore,” said Joe Kotzé, national manager: compliance at the FIA.
Kotzé said that if an advisor finds they have been debarred they are duty bound to still provide clients with assistance. “Brokers must inform clients of the situation and must ensure that all outstanding business is catered for. Clients will have a choice to either remain with their advisors until the debarment has been lifted or to seek advice from another provider. Brokers can help in finding another advisor for their clients. Clients can also find other registered advisors either on the Financial Planning Institute or the FIAs website.”
Financial advisors that have written the regulatory exams but not passed, will have till the end of September to rewrite them. Kotzé added that the same rules will apply to representatives that attempted the exam before end of June but did not pass. “Representatives may at any time be reappointed as soon as they have passed the exam,” he said.
In April, the FSB reported that only 66% of financial advisors had written the exams and that of those, 73% had passed. Kotzé said that approximately 80% had now written the exams but that there were no recent figures available as to the number that have passed. “While the majority of FIA members have now taken and passed these exams, we are concerned for any other intermediaries who are yet to do so and would urge them to register for the exams as soon as possible,” he added.