As promised in last week's blogs, we have now submitted our letter of complaint to the CMA.

In case you'd like to borrow some or all of our words for your own complaint letter, the following is the content of our letter:

We are a small financial services training provider called Bespoke Training Solutions. We offer a variety of options to individuals studying to be financial advisers through the level 4 qualification offered by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

From the 1st January 2018 the CII changed its exam policy, which now means that students are forced to buy a more expensive CII package rather than have the option of buying each element individually. This decision appears to contravene the principles and / or the spirit of:

  • The Financial Conduct Authority (particularly in respect of the expectation of sufficient competition in the market)
  • The Competition and Markets Authority (again, in respect of the expectation of sufficient competition in the market)
  • Treating Customers Fairly (where fair treatment of customers is central to a firm’s corporate culture)
  • Customer Choice (in what they purchase to support them towards a recognised qualification)
  • The CII’s own Code of Ethics (acting with the highest ethical standards and integrity, and in the best interests of each client)

We have complained to the CII, and have requested that this decision be reversed and that the customers’ ability to purchase exam sittings without the compulsory addition of the CII learning materials be reinstated.

Can you please see if this is an area under your remit?

Please let us know if you require any further information. We have attached one of the articles above that we published on the subject, for background purposes. There has also been an article in financial adviser which can be viewed via the following link: https://www.ftadviser.com/your-industry/2018/01/17/cii-under-fire-for-changes-to-exam-package/?page=1