Minimum academic requirements for applying for a SFC license

August 6, 2021

Is there a minimum education requirement for the securities industry?

The licensing requirements for the securities industry are set by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and compiled into the Guidelines on Competence. All intermediaries who wish to be licensed or registered for regulated activities are required to abide by this guideline.

 

SFC lists the educational requirements for intermediaries (individuals) in the Guideline on Competency Guidelines. The minimum academic qualification required to apply for a license is to pass Chinese+ Mathematics or English+ Mathematics subjects in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) or the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE), or equivalent or higher qualifications. In other words, it is not a big deal if you fail in other subjects, but apparently passing mathematics is a requirement that the Securities and Futures Commission attaches great importance to. If students are taking other courses, such as Yijin, Advanced Diploma, etc.,you should also pay attention to whether the qualifications are equal to or higher than the qualifications of the Chinese+Mathematics pass or English+Mathematics pass in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE). 

 

If the students do not meet the requirements in terms of academic qualifications, that does not mean there are no other solutions for getting an SFC license. If students have internationally recognized professional qualifications, such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), International Certified Investment Analyst (CIIA®) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP), or 5 years of securities-related industry experience, these alternative qualifications can override the academic requirements. Over the years, We have encountered different questions from our students asking questions like: “If I only took the CFA Level 1 or Level 3 exam, would that be considered as a CFA qualification?” The answer is: It will not be considered as a full CFA qualification. In other words, in order to be eligible to use the “Chartered” designation, you must not only partake in all three levels of the CFA exams, but also need to have 3-4 years experience in the financial industry; hence if you wish to get exempted in the HKSI LE Paper 7-12, or wants to use your CFA qualification to substitute minimum academic qualification requirements, you will need to be a chartered one. 

 

In addition, some students asked how they can obtain industry experience without a license, you can refer to: How is industry experience considered when it comes to HKSI LE exemption?

 

For details of the ” Guidelines on Competency”, please refer to:https://www.sfc.hk/-/media/EN/assets/components/codes/files-current/web/guidelines/guidelines-on-competence/Guidelines-on-Competence.pdf

 

How can we help?

2CExam provides HKSI LE, IIQE, EAQE and SQE related exam preparation materials. We sell mock question banks for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 in Chinese and English; and bibles for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 in Chinese. We also offer 1 on 1 tutorial services. Besides, we have also made free tutorial videos for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and posted on public channels such as Youtube/ Bilibili/ Tencent/ Iqiyi. 2CExam has been an exam training expert for years. Should you need any help please visit www.2cexam.com or contact us through:

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