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A RECORD number attended the recent monthly meeting of the Insurance Institute of Guernsey to hear more about what is required to meet new requirements from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission aimed at raising professional standards.

In September last year, the GFSC issued its Implementation of Guernsey Financial Advice Standards consultation paper to the industry and has now decided that the island will follow a similar approach to Jersey and the Isle of Man in response to the Financial Conduct’s Authority Retail Distribution Review proposals.

As part of the proposals the GFSC has specified a standard for professional qualifications required by those providing professional advice as well as a requirement for continuing education. Those advisers who fall within the scope of GFAS will now be required to hold a recognised Level 4 professional qualification. In order to facilitate this, the GFSC has approached the GTA University Centre to support the local industry and at the January monthly meeting of the Insurance Institute of Guernsey, more than 75 people attended to hear about the training opportunities on offer.

‘We were delighted by the turnout as our normal monthly meetings usually attract between 10 and 20 people. The attendance shows just how seriously the industry is taking GFAS and its willingness to meet the requirements which are intended to increase professional standards, make adviser charging more transparent and reduce potential conflicts of interest,’ said Callum Beaton, president of the Insurance Institute of Guernsey.

Attendees heard more about GFAS from Rosemary Stevens from the GFSC and there was an overview of the courses being offered on-island by the GTA in conjunction with the College of Further Education.

‘The GFSC is proposing that staff must have obtained a relevant level four qualification by 31 December 2015 and so it was very encouraging to see so many from the industry wanting to know more about what they need to do to meet the required standards,’ said GTA programmes manager Liesel Lindsay.

‘We have had some very positive feedback and I am confident that all of the courses will be fully subscribed. It’s a credit to the industry that they have embraced these changes and are proactively working to meet them.’

The courses on offer will be the Investment Advice Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment, the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning from the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Investment Management Certificate from the CFA Society of the UK.

Anyone wanting to know more about the courses can contact Liesel Lindsay on 746884 or email [email protected]