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FMA strengthens Investor Protection: Circular on the Qualification of Investment Advisors

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The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) today published a Circular on “The Criteria for the Assessment of Knowledge and Competence of Investment Advisors and Persons providing Information about Investment Products”. The Circular sets out in detail what qualifications persons shall be required to possess, who intend to work for financial institutions as investment advisors. “Qualified advisors are essential to ensure competent and responsible advice for clients,” remarked the FMA’s Executive Directors, Helmut Ettl and Klaus Kumpfmüller: “Our Circular defines requirements that ensure a high standard for modern investor protection.”

In addition to possessing a comprehensive understanding of products, the Circular also requires Investment advisors to hold broader knowledge, such as knowledge about the market as well as understanding about key economic figures. Furthermore, investment advisors are required to prove that they have the necessary training and relevant professional experience. The continuing further training of investment advisors is also required to be ensured: in this regard, at least 15 hours of further training are required to have been completed annually, in order to ensure that their knowledge remains up-to-date.

The FMA Circular also transposes the requirements on the qualifications for investment advisors set out in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II). The requirements are expected to be complied with from 3 January 2018, when the Securities Supervision Act 2018 (WAG 2018; Wertpapieraufsichtsgesetz 2018) enters into force.

The Circular is available for download from the FMA website at:


Journalists may address further enquiries to:

Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson)


+43/(0)676/882 49 516

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