The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has announced a partnership with the Baltic Financial Advisors Association (BFAA).
The BFAA is a not for profit organisation formed jointly by the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Banking Associations and is supported by the largest banks in the Baltics. It will operate a qualification and licensing system for professionals within the region who provide investment advice or are insurance intermediaries.
The BFAA, founded in 2015 is developing its own licensing exam to meet the European and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) guidelines. The agreement between the two bodies means that the CISI has given permission to the BFAA to use the material from the relevant CISI qualification syllabi and workbooks in developing its own learning material.
The BFAA has also agreed to recognise two of CISI's qualifications as equivalent to their own licensed qualifications, increasing CISI's formal recognition by regulatory authorities to a total of 45 jurisdictions.
In addition, the CISI will recognise the BFAA Investment Advisor qualification in satisfying the requirement for Associate Membership of the CISI (ACSI) to those Baltic practitioners who hold the BFAA Investment Advisor qualification. The collaboration between the two organisations now also extends to holding joint events.
The new ESMA guidelines will come into effect in January 2018, to ensure that all staff working in financial services customer facing roles throughout Europe are qualified to a uniform set of minimum professional standards as outlined in the new MiFID II regulations. The CISI published its own ESMA guidance booklet last year, as a toolkit for firms and regulators across the EU member countries who will need to comply with these new MiFID II regulations if they want to work with consumers.
Kevin Moore Chartered MCSI and CISI Global Business Development Director said: "We are extremely pleased to be working with the BFAA who share our ethos and dedication to maintaining and raising standards in the investment advice market, for the ultimate protection of consumers.
Marge Tooming-Pullisaar, Chief Executive of the BFAA said: "CISI represents a strategic partnership to us. They not only gave the BFAA access to their study materials that would help us bring the high-quality textbook to the market quite quickly, but also provided an opportunity for our more ambitious candidates to apply for a ACSI qualification. As an outcome, quality and ethics will become the integral part of our service."
The CISI works with financial services regulatory authorities in 45 countries around the world. In the EU CISI's links with these authorities are in Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Malta, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and the UK. The CISI has members in 25 EU member countries and in 2015 the Institute's qualifications were sat in 24 of these countries