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CISI in call to belong to some body.

Byline: JOHNCRANAGE

Membership of a professional body should be mandatory, according to a survey of stockbrokers and financial advisers in the West Midlands.

They have made the call in response to the recent publication by City watchdog the Financial Services Authority of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) consultation paper.

A national survey by the newly-chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), which has 700 members in Birmingham and the West Midlands found that nearly 90 per cent said the FSA should consult on mandatory membership of bodies such as CISI.

The Institute, which received its Royal Charter on November 1, carried out the survey following a series of presentations run jointly with the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers on the implications of the RDR.

The FSA consultation paper recommends a minimum level of mandatory qualification for those involved in selling financial services products to members of the public as part of the drive to restore confidence in the market. It aims to raise standards across the retail sector and to introduce mandatory "continuing professional development".

An industry-wide code of ethics in line with the CISI's own practice, the key requirements of which include high level examinations, a commitment to ethics and integrity and a strong disciplinary framework, is also proposed.

The CISI said it gathered data from a total of 500 members in 14 UK cities, including Birmingham, a high proportion of whose jobs fall within the "client facing" or "advisory" category.

When asked if the FSA "should consult on the value of mandatory membership of a professional body", 86 per cent of respondents said yes.

When asked whether they were "in favour of the raising in the level of qualifications", 89 per cent were in favour. When asked if "the RDR proposes realistic proposals to raise standards of professionalism", 88 per cent said yes, with most respondents clearly expressing a wish to raise standards through CPD, ethics and higher level examinations.

Gordon Harvey, president of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment Birmingham, said: "The results of our RDR roadshows clearly demonstrate our members' commitment to high standards in their firms.

"This chimes well with the granting of our Royal Charter, which is all about recognition of the contribution the Institute makes to greater professionalism in the industry."

CISI managing director Ruth Martin said: "Many of our members will now have the opportunity to become personally chartered and therefore publicly demonstrate that they are at the pinnacle of their profession."

Formed in 1992 from the Stock Exchange, the CISI is now the leading examining, training and membership body for the securities and investment industry in the UK, with more than 40,000 members.

As the main examining body for the industry it provides a range of vocational qualifications that attract more than 35,000 candidates a year.

It has developed Centres of Excellence within several universities to offer its qualifications.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 2, 2009
Words:482
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