HSBC, the London-based, globally-focused banking group, and the similarly internationally-focused Financial Planning Standards Board, have announced a new “global partnership” they say is aimed at boosting financial advice standards, while also adding to the ranks of CFP certified advisers around the world.
The non-profit FPSB, which is based in Denver, Colorado, owns the Certified Financial Planner certification, and oversees its administration by FPSB affiliates in the US and some 26 other countries and territories.
In a statement, the organisations said that under their new agreement, they’ve pledged to work together in putting “more than 11,000 HSBC financial advisers, financial planners and wealth managers through training programs and a career path of professional certifications leading to CFP certification”.
The announcement of the new HSBC/FPSB partnership came on Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, at a global membership meeting of the FPSB, which was attended by representatives of FPSB member organisations from its global network, as well as HSBC executives.
In the joint statement, Mark Glover, HSBC’s head of financial planning and wealth management, said the bank embraced “the highest standards in financial planning across its global network”, and that its partnership with the FPSB would support its efforts “to create a financial planning culture focused on serving clients who are looking for holistic advice”.
“Through [the] FPSB, HSBC employees will have access to education courses, career path qualifications and CFP certification, which are great additions to the training and development opportunities we already provide,” Glover added.
FPSB chief executive Noel Maye noted that the arrangement would both strengthen global recognition of its CFP certification as well as increasing the public’s access to “competent and ethical advisers”, while also promoting the financial planning profession generally.
“Through providing content and certifications at the financial adviser and financial planner levels for the global HSBC network, FPSB and its member organisations expect to substantially grow the number of CFP professionals in support of FPSB’s goal of 250,000 CFP professionals in 40 territories by 2025,” Maye added.
‘Several territories’ in 2017
HSBC and the FPSB said they plan to kick off their new partnership with pilot programmes in “several” FPSB territories in 2017, including France and India.
Next year they plan to expand the programme further, adding additional countries and territories and in the process, “opening up new markets for financial planning and CFP certification”.
Currently the FPSB has affiliates in 26 territories: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
At the end of 2016, it says there were 170,101 CFP professionals worldwide.
Although headquartered in London today, HSBC was originally founded in what at the time was the British colony of Hong Kong in 1865, and was known for many years as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
The HSBC Group still generates more than half of its revenue out of Asia, and from time to time has said it was considering moving its base back to that region. Today it looks after clients worldwide from around 4,000 offices in 70 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa.
The HSBC/FPSB partnership coincides with a growing global emphasis on financial advice qualifications, in response to concerns that too many individuals have not been getting good advice, and as a result, losing some or all of their savings. Earlier this year, the Chartered Insurance Institute announced a partnership with the United Arab Emirates Insurance Authority, among a number of tie-ups it’s announced as it, too, looks to increase the take-up of formal qualifications.