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Your Passport to Europe

Who are the European Financial Planning Organisation (EFPA)?
EFPA is one of the largest and most respected professional licensing, standard setting and certification bodies for financial advisers in Europe and was the first European financial standards association created to increase professionalism in the European financial services sector. EFPA UK is represented by the Personal Finance Society.

It now accredits more than 60 European universities, banking and insurance institutes.

More information can be found on the EFPA website.

Why now?
This agreement will ensure that consumers who wish to access advice from UK advisers, or maintain existing relationships in a post-Brexit environment will be able to do so as part of an all-embracing standard across Europe.

What are the benefits of this agreement?
This agreement combines the knowledge and experience of the leading entities in Europe and the UK.

Members will be able to use the EFA or EFP designations which are aligned and recognised through the equivalent European financial planning standards, which are fully, or part accredited by the main European regulators.

Members will benefit from EFPA’s continuing professional development programme, which will allow professional mobility and mutual recognition in more than 10 countries in Europe, enabling them to gain a deeper understanding of financial products and compliance under European regulation.

Which EFPA designation can I use?
Personal Finance Society members holding the Diploma in Financial Planning or Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning will be granted European Financial Advisor™ certification and eligibility to use the EFA designation.

Members holding the Advanced Diploma will be granted European Financial Planner™ certification and eligibility to use the EFP designation.

When can I start using my designation?
1 March 2018 or upon obtaining the relevant UK qualifications.

Can I display the new designation on my business cards and/or marketing collateral?

How much will it cost?
There is no additional cost for qualified Personal Finance Society members to use the new European professional designation, whether they intend to advise across EU member countries or not, and is therefore included as an additional benefit within their existing membership subscription.

Will I need further qualifications to advise in other countries?
To advise in countries where EFPA is implemented, advisers will still need to comply with local requirements. This involves passing relevant exams.

The Financial authorities in certain countries require a straight forward bridge qualification, whilst others require further local qualifications.

Taking a bridge qualification is not an option in countries such as France and Czech Republic. Therefore, the authorities publish a specific list of recognised qualifications for advisers to complete before becoming compliant. 

What is the Bridge exam?
To be compliant to give advice in countries requiring a bridge qualification, advisers need to pass exams focussed on local taxation and compliance regimes, whilst being exempt from other subjects/modules.

For example:
The QFA is the Irish certification for Financial Advisors. In 2013, the QFA recognised EFPA certifications for exemptions to the QFA designation. The EFA and EFP qualifications exempt holders from four of the six modules leading to the QFA designation (Bridge programme). The two remaining modules included in the Bridge programme are regulation and financial planning. Other countries using this method include Austria, Estonia, Germany, Italy and Spain.

How will the implementation of MiFID II apply in EU countries?
Although the EFPA certifications are fully compliant with ESMA (The European Securities and Markets Authority) guidelines on qualifications, there is not a homogeneous implementation of MiFID II on knowledge and competence requirements among EU countries. This means some countries require local qualifications as opposed to the bridge.

What happens next?
A formal, personalised EFPA certificate showing the new designation entitlement for Personal Finance Society members is available for members to download from your PFS account page in a new section titled ‘EFPA Certificate’. 

In the future, Personal Finance Society member’s details will be listed on the EFPA certificate holders register through their website, subject to member consent.

When can I expect to receive my certificate?
The certificates are currently being developed and it is estimated that they will be distributed to members during summer. More details will follow on this.

How do I appear on the EFPA register?
A process will be put in place for you to provide consent for:

  1. Your details to be shared with EFPA
  2. Your details to be displayed on the register

We will confirm this process once it is in place.

Where can I get more information?
For more information, please email or call +44 (0)20 8530 0852.