UK’s Cisi pushes advice harmonisation with Ireland amidst Brexit uncertainty
Despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty – the Irish Taoiseach, or prime minister, warned on 2 November that the UK could trigger Article 50 as soon as December, while 3 November saw a crushing defeat for the UK government after a court there ruled that it could not unilaterally trigger the EU departure mechanism without the approval of the full UK Parliament, thus suggesting it could be many months before any trigger is pulled, if ever – the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment has moved to ensure UK financial advisers moving to work in Ireland will be exempt from having to sit equivalent Irish examinations before starting work.
The announcement follows an agreement that means that UK based holders of Cisi’s Investment Advice Diploma will be exempt from three modules of the Qualified Financial Adviser requirements approved by the Central Bank of Ireland. The QFA is provided by the Institute of Banking in Ireland, LIA and The Insurance Institute.
Cisi said that the agreement would “free up the movement of firms and individuals and further facilitate the continued growth of the financial services industry in Ireland.” It added that it was working to ensure that Irish financial advisers with the QFA Diploma would gain the necessary recognition to work in the UK and Northern Ireland.
Frank O’Riordan (pictured) president of the CISI Ireland branch committee said: “We are extremely pleased to be working with the Institute of Banking and delighted to have achieved this important milestone. We are very supportive of the concept of mutual recognition of capital markets qualifications to make it as seamless as possible for practitioners and firms to move between jurisdictions, while maintaining high standards of professionalism.”
The concept of a capital markets union has been a key target of regulatory developments in Brussels for some time, particularly in mind of ensuring financial products are able to cross borders seamlessly. The issue of financial professionals or other workers crossing from the UK into the single market has, however, become seen as a key sticking point in the expected upcoming negotiations around Brexit. There is still a possibility that the remaining EU member states will reject unfettered access to the single market by UK financial products and financial sector workers if EU citizens are not given unfettered access to the UK. This would create particular problems for relations between the Irish and UK economies, which are closely linked, as noted recently by the Irish Taoiseach.