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Union calls for moratorium on FSB regulatory exams

Still no statistics available on pass rate.

PRETORIA – Trade Union Solidarity has handed a memorandum to the Financial Services Board (FSB) that calls for a moratorium of at least a year on all regulatory examinations for financial advisers.

The first deadline for financial advisers to write the regulatory exams was the end of June, but various exemption possibilities was offered before this date arrived. Days before the deadline, the FSB published a board notice in the Government Gazette announcing that three categories of representatives are exempted and will only have to write the exam at a date still to be determined. Individuals could also write to the FSB to explain why an exemption was justified if they missed the deadline.

In September the FSB announced another extension for those representatives who have attempted to write the exam but failed, and had until September 30 to try again. The FSB announced that the deadline of September 30 would be extended once again for another six months.

No further statistics have been made public by the FSB on how many representatives have passed the exam since the beginning of June, when it showed that only 35 646 representatives of the 51 790 that have written the exam had passed.

Solidarity said that “the poor management of the regulatory exams by the FSB is causing widespread uncertainty among employees in the financial industry”. “Thousands of financial advisers could lose their jobs by the end of March 2013 if employers carry out their threats of dismissing brokers who do not pass the regulatory exams before the cut-off date,’ said Johan Kruger, spokesperson for Solidarity.

In the memorandum Solidarity demands a moratorium on the writing of the examinations until “managerial glitches have been resolved”. During this year the union asked the FSB issue a support plan, indicating what support will be given to candidates for the regulatory exams. A social plan is also requested, which should indicate how the FSB would attempt to prevent job losses in the industry due to the exams.

The union also asks that the FSB issue exam statistics each month.

In response to a query from Moneyweb on when the statistics will be available, the FSB replied that it will only provide accurate statistics and that the process was taking longer than was originally anticipated.

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