Possibly the worst thing for those people who view 31 March 2013 as RE Judgment Day, is the impact on their ability to focus on learning and passing the regulatory exams. Perhaps the following thoughts can provide some peace of mind, allowing you to focus on what can go right, rather than what can go wrong.
- There is no restriction on the number of times you can write these exams. True, there is a cost involved, each time you write, but there is no rule that says you may not write after 31 March if you do not pass before then.
- Representatives who fail to pass by the deadline date must legally be debarred by their key individuals from 1 April 2013. If however, the representative is removed from both the FSB’s central and the FSP’s representative register, and not allowed to produce business until he or she succeeds in passing the exam, they can merely be linked again to both the FSB’s central and the FSP’s representative register when they do pass, and carry on as usual. Reinstatement after the debarment process is a far lengthier process, involving FSB approval.
- Key individuals who fail to pass before the final deadline will be informed by the FSB of its intention to suspend their licences. They will be given a period of grace (normally one month), in which to respond. The issuing of such a letter of intent is unlikely to take place on 1 April, as the final exam papers still need to be marked, and the results uploaded to the FSB’s systems. All of this will buy you time to write again, and hopefully avoid the guillotine. Even then, during the suspension period, you will be able to write and pass the exam, thereby getting yourself back on the right side of the law. The only drawback is that, while your licence is suspended, you will not be able do business and will have to advise all your clients of the suspension.
While the above will hopefully come as a relief to many people under the cosh of the final deadline, we strongly urge you to write sooner, rather than later. By delaying writing to the last minute, you are extending the agony of uncertainty.
As if you need more of that in your life!