Where - If It Exists - Is The Register of Qualified Financial Advisers ?

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trajan

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I see a web page where we can find if a firm is a licenced Financial Service Provider

http://registers.centralbank.ie/FirmSearchPage.aspx

But how do I check for an individual person who claims to be a QFA ?

I ask as I suspect that a certain Mr X working as a "Senior Financial Advisor" for firm Y (which is a registered firm under the Central Bank register) is not even qualified to QFA standard.

I wonder if someone can work as an advisor or associate advisor while "working towards QFA exams" or not.

The public perception of regulation in this area has yet to be matched by convincing measures enabling the public to check on the individual advising them. After many years the architects produced a register of properly qualified members which can be accessed via the web page

https://www.riai.ie/work-with-an-architect/register-of-architects

We need something as accessible as this for financial advisors.

It's pretty bad when some people carry on regardless and don't even take the reputedly basic QFA exams.
It's even worse that properly qualified employers would allow this to occur.
 
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trajan

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Well, ladies and gentlemen of the financial services industry: in the words of Yeats, you have disgraced yourselves again - by your silence.
 

Smoneen

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I think your post may have just gone down the list rather than the contributors to this forum choosing to remain silent for some undisclosed reason. I know I didn’t see it until you bumped it up just now.
There is no longer a public/published register of QFAs. A CFP can choose to add their name to the FPSB page but that is completely optional. Personally I’ve chosen not to. Similarly for another sporting qualification I choose not to have my name on the governing body’s website to protect my address and contact details.
The financial services firm you are dealing with will be under the scope of the Central Banks requirements relating to controlled functions. For example, someone providing advice is typically a “CF3” under those requirements. These controlled functions are then subject to Minimum Competency Codes. You can find the details of the list of qualifications that satisfy these requirements (for each product) under Appendix 4 of the code. All is accessible on the Central Banks website.
I hope this helps.
 

Gordon Gekko

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Well, ladies and gentlemen of the financial services industry: in the words of Yeats, you have disgraced yourselves again - by your silence.
Firstly, it’s an insult to architects to compare them with QFA-holders. One is a professional qualification; the other is very much a basic minimum standard for certain areas of financial services.

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure whether they were questions in your opening post; it came across more as a rant or an Irish Times editorial.

Personally, I would want my financial advisor to be more in the CFA, CFP, AITI sphere with a more prestigious qualification, but ultimately qualifications are only one element of it.

The QFA qualification might as well come free with a Happy Meal (and I’m speaking as a QFA). The exams are a complete joke, multiple choice with one written exam which is a case study with blindingly obvious recommendations to be made. On that basis, I’m not really sure what benefit a central register would deliver. In any event, as I understand it, someone can work with clients “under supervision” whilst they’re ‘pursuing’ the QFA designation.
 
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trajan

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There is no longer a public/published register of QFAs. A CFP can choose to add their name to the FPSB page but that is completely optional. Personally I’ve chosen not to. Similarly for another sporting qualification I choose not to have my name on the governing body’s website to protect my address and contact details . . .

@Smoneen: This implies that there once was such a register, implying that authorities saw a need for one at some point.
I see no reason why such a need would no longer exist. Moreover since the sun should have set on all the original "grandfathers" (unqualified practitioners who learned what they know on the job and took no formal exams) by now I can't see any reason why the main regulations aren't tougher still now.

. . . For example, someone providing advice is typically a “CF3” under those requirements. These controlled functions are then subject to Minimum Competency Codes. You can find the details of the list of qualifications that satisfy these requirements (for each product) under Appendix 4 of the code.

But this is the very essence of my problem: I can't understand clearly from those regulations if these people can carry on dispensing "advice" under the sign-off supervision of a Mr Tady Murphy QFA (and nothing else).

The QFA qualification might as well come free with a Happy Meal (and I’m speaking as a QFA). The exams are a complete joke, multiple choice with one written exam which is a case study with blindingly obvious recommendations to be made. On that basis, I’m not really sure what benefit a central register would deliver. In any event, as I understand it, someone can work with clients “under supervision” whilst they’re ‘pursuing’ the QFA designation.

@Gordon Gekko: Isn't it plain that the qualifications need bumping up so ?
Isn't it in the interest of the financial advice sector to have a better state of things than prevails right now ?
How else can Widow O'Haras not be robbed by Shamie Hooragains if the FA profession don't take a lead here ?
 

trajan

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Just found out that members of the Irish Tax Institute have the choice whether to put themselves on the ITI register or not. But if you have doubts as to whether Mr X is a real AITI or CTA you can call the institute and get confirmation. Not as good as a publicly open register a la RIAI but not hopeless either. The John Delaney story showed journalists could check on ICA membership. Maybe this process is common for serious qualifications.
 
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