Starting from January 2018, financial institutions must prove the competency of their employees who provide investment advice or information to their customers according to the MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive). In order to ease the task for their members, the Baltic Banking Associations founded the BFAA in late 2015. Swedbank, SEB and Luminor joined the BFAA to contribute to the creation of a comprehensive yet practical framework for serving the industry.
The licensing began in the late 2017 and here are the first conclusions.
Since December 2017 to date, more than 580 professionals have obtained the license, whereas more than 70% of them passed the BFAA exams at the first sitting. There are more than 320 professionals certified in Estonia, 180 in Latvia and 86 in Lithuania. The licensing is still ongoing in May and June.
Generally, investment advisers and information providers are well qualified and meet the standard set in MiFID II. Examinees deemed the exam questions quite difficult (three out of four) but attainable and considered the overall experience to be positive. The BFAA Syllabus includes topics from Macroeconomics, Investment Services, and Financial Instruments to the Code of Conduct & Professional Ethics. The customers of the BFAA members can expect to be provided qualified and ethical advice.
The BFAA is a full-service provider for institutions that must prove the compliance of their personnel to MiFID II and IDD (Insurance Distribution Directive). In Lithuania, individuals, licensed by the Bank of Lithuania, will be transferred for examinations to the BFAA.
The BFAA provides Syllabi and Workbooks with an online learning and examination experience. All members of the BFAA must accept and comply with the BFAA Code of Ethics, which requires an overall professional conduct and a continuous development.
The insurance-related licensing service will begin in the autumn with three licenses: IIA – Investment Insurance Advisor, NLIA – Non-Life Insurance Advisor and LIA – Life Insurance Advisor.