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Want To Be A Banker? Prepare To Have Your Integrity Tested

Bankers Integrity Tested by CISI

Bankers Integrity Testing. New mandatory tests are being introduced to the UK financial sector to assess the integrity and personal ethics of banking staff.
The professional body for those working in the capital and wealth-management markets, the CISI, wants its members to undergo this new screening or forgo their membership.
The move is being designed to help restore the public's faith in the ailing financial-services industry.

The Current Situation for Bankers

Previously, only financial advisers were required to take integrity tests to obtain CISI status and comply with the UK legislation around investment fund sales. 
Bankers who work in functions such as mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance and bonds, shares and derivatives trading have been exempt from these regulations.

Testing for Bankers is Long Overdue

The CISI has said that systematic checking of the integrity and ethics of staff working across the financial-services sector is 'long overdue'. They have stated their support for the measure strongly and it forms a part of various initiatives which aim to restore trust in the financial-services sector.
So far around 7,300 of the CISI's 40,000 strong financial membership base have taken the new 'Integrity Matters' test since its introduction in 2008. The additional roll-out is hoped to reassure savers in particular that the financial sector is wholly committed to ending casino-style banking practices.
Members are offered six dilemma scenarios, all of which are based on genuine industry examples. Each of these evolves over a period of time, with every given response determining the next stage of the scenario's evolution. The CISI has also said that they will cease to accept new entry-level members for its qualifications in capital markets until they pass the exam.

The Future for Bankers 

Certain banking institutions, such as the Bank of America, already require their retail investment advisors to take exams set by approved bodies such as the CISI so that they can clearly demonstrate measured competence to regulators. 

Without the CISI credentials, bankers may find that they struggle to find employment at the larger banks over time.

However, critics have warned that the new CISI initiative can only go so far in protecting savers as it simply shows bankers' theoretical knowledge of ethical practices rather than confirming that they applied integrity in their daily work. Of course, no current test can accurately predict and determine subsequent behaviour, but for most people this new development will be seen as a positive step forward.

Written by Ross Stokes of Circle Square - Financial Recruitment London


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