CISI offers support to EU financial services regulators and firms to meet new ESMA knowledge and competence guidelines

By Lora Benson | Jul 18, 2016



The CISI is offering support to European financial services regulators and firms, and ultimately consumers, by publishing its own guidance booklet setting out its stall across the Qualifications, Continuous Professional Development and Business Ethics areas.

The aim is to assist firms in their efforts to meet the new European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) guidelines, effective January 2017. These have been put in place to ensure that all staff working in financial services customer facing roles throughout Europe are qualified to the highest professional standards as outlined in the new MiFIDII regulations.

The CISI booklet is a toolkit for firms and regulators across the EU member countries who will need to comply with these new MiFIDII regulations if they want to work with consumers.

Based in Paris, ESMA is the independent EU authority contributing to safeguarding the stability of the European Union’s financial system by enhancing the protection of investors and promoting stable and orderly financial markets. ESMA operates a single rulebook for EU financial markets.

The ESMA Final Report, published December 2015 “Guidelines for the assessment of knowledge and competence” affects staff throughout Europe who are either “giving information” or “giving investment advice”.

Kevin Moore, Chartered MCSI and CISI Global Business Development Director said: “As a global professional body we have been working with firms and members in Europe and other countries around the world for many years.   We are absolutely committed to raising professional standards, in terms of knowledge, competencies and behaviour.  This initiative is very much in the interests of consumers all across Europe”.

The CISI has an excellent track record in supporting the introduction of new knowledge and competency requirements for the profession, having worked closely with the previous Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority or FCA) on the introduction of similar standards in the UK under the Retail Distribution Review (RDR). The CISI is an FCA Accredited Body for the issuance of Statements of Professional Standing (SPS), which is a license to practise as a retail investment adviser in the UK.

Working with financial services regulatory authorities in 37 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 those EU countries.

The CISI’s booklet on Guidance for Regulators and Firms who need to comply with ESMA’s requirements on knowledge and competence is available from or