Credit specialists must have a proficiency test. Will the quality of loans improve?

by Katherine Lewis

Until recently, virtually anyone could offer loans and credits. However, the new Act on Consumer Credit brought, in addition to the frequently mentioned measures strengthening the position of clients, also stricter conditions for the activities of credit advisors.

They have several months to prove their professional competence by passing an examination organized by the Good Finance Bank. According to experts, it is not a scarecrow for the counselors, as it initially seemed.

However, they agree that this is a step in the right direction. Passing the professional exam will soon be necessary for other areas.

What the amendment brought

As of 1 December 2016, a new Consumer Credit Act came into force, bringing a number of changes to the market for maximum client protection.

“First of all, the Consumer Credit Act introduced relatively stringent criteria for lenders and credit intermediaries, which significantly cleared the market.

Other measures, such as the regulation of sanctions for extraordinary repayments or sanctions for late repayment, significantly strengthen the position of consumers, ” says Sean Cole, marketing manager of the Czech company Good Finance, which provides fast and secure consumer loans.

However, another significant change regarding the competence of all credit specialists is somewhat off the spot. They were obliged to pass an examination of professional competence within 42 months of the effective date of the Act.

The errors did not avoid the test

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The exam is mandatory for all financial advisors, credit intermediaries, providers, sellers, and distributors of credit products who are currently 30 months (until May 2019) to pass the exam. Testing has been in progress since April, so the level of tests and their benefits can be evaluated.

Selected companies from the industry participated in the preparation of questions, but experts point out the error rate. “Because questions were prepared by people with different faculties of thought and expression, with different professional histories, the result is inconsistent in some respects.

Most of the questions are correct, but there are still some questions wrong, confused, badly stylized, and so on, ” says Sean Cole, product manager at Gepard Finance, who also participated in the exam at the Mortgage Brokers Association. “Initially, the database of questions suffered from a higher error rate because there was relatively little time to set them up.

However, the errors are being gradually corrected and in December a new version of the database of questions based on the 3rd update will appear at the examinations, ” says Joshua Volek, EFPA Professional Exam Board member accredited by the GFI for organizing proficiency tests. to fix bugs in issues.

Other financial sectors will also be avoided

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However, other areas of the financial market are gradually regulated in the same spirit. “Before the Consumer Credit Act, the new model of professional examinations was introduced as the first in 2011 for the Supplementary Pension Savings Act.

New expert examinations are currently being introduced by an amendment to the Capital Market Undertakings Act with effect from 3 January 2018, ” notes Sean Cole, Chief Financial Officer of the Ramfin financial group, adding that professional qualifications based on new examinations do not yet apply to insurance .

In this area, however, the four expert sectoral examinations will supplement the new Insurance and Reinsurance Act. “According to GFI sources, work on the relevant decree has already begun.

Thus, we will not be able to avoid professional competence in any area within two years, ” concludes Petr Volek.