If you recall, we published an article in June 2017 titled, Lawyers vs. Brokers. In that article we make mention of a then recent comment letter STA filed on FINRA’s lapsed license policy and how it contributes to what we believe is an unreasonable barrier of re-entry to the financial services industry for qualified individuals, particularly those who are primary childcare providers. Effective October 8, 2018, FINRA instituted the Securities Industry Essential (SIE) exam. The SIE exam carries attributes that address some of the concerns expressed in our letter, for example it remains effective for four (4) years after an individual leaves our industry. While much of the work on the new SIE exam was done prior to STA’s comments, we were and remain greatly appreciative that FINRA followed through on it.
FINRA is now requesting comment on enhancements to the Securities Industry Continuing Education Program (CE Program). Given how interconnected licenses to practice and continuing education requirements are towards obtaining and maintaining employment in the financial services industry, we applaud FINRA and the Continuing Education Council for soliciting opinions on potential enhancements. We especially want to give FINRA and the CE Council credit for acknowledging in the regulatory notice that the program enhancements being considered would allow individuals to maintain their qualification status following the termination of their registrations in an “effort to address the challenges that industry professionals face when attempting to re-enter the industry after an absence.”
Many of us know someone who made a positive impact on our industry and the investors we serve, who then left for an extended period of time to raise a family. When this individual looks to re-enter our industry they face an incredible challenge that is not found in other industries that require a license like: law, accounting or even medicine. Besides facing the burden of getting re-licensed, these individuals are uninformed on current practices because they are unable to take continuing education, again, something that is a unique to our industry. Consequently, many of these individuals seek employment elsewhere resulting in a loss of talent for our industry and many asking themselves, “Does the world really need another realtor?” (No disrespect, we love realtors.)
We especially want to give FINRA and the CE Council credit for acknowledging in the regulatory notice that the program enhancements being considered would allow individuals to maintain their qualification status following the termination of their registrations in an “effort to address the challenges that industry professionals face when attempting to re-enter the industry after an absence.”
This is an important issue for our industry and we hope you, and your firm, will take a moment to engage on it. STA will accept input from our Advisory Committees until Friday, November 2. If you’d like to offer your opinion, please reach to us at email@example.com or better yet, file your remarks with FINRA directly!
The regulatory filing is FINRA Notice 18-26 and the deadline for comments is November 5, 2018. STA is currently working on its comment letter, which supports the CE Council pursuing a recommendation to allow previously registered individuals to maintain their qualification status while away from the industry.
See STA WIF October Newsletter here