Almost 16 percent of the country’s financial advisers who failed to pass their first-level regulatory examinations have been given another chance to keep their licences byre-writing the exams.

The deadline for the 2 000 plus financial advisers who failed the exams to re-write has been extended to March 31 next year.

The Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (Inseta) and the Financial Services Board (FSB) have joined forces to help the affected financial advisers over the hurdle by holding exam-preparation seminars countrywide.

Inseta chief executive officer Sandra Dunn has dismissed criticisms of the exams by financial services providers as unacceptable, in particular because South Africa wants to be a world leader in financial services. Dunn says “finger-pointing is not moving the regulation process along”.

“The exams are straightforward – adequate preparation simply needs to be done. Any adult learner can attest to the fact that studying while working is no easy feat, and so it is imperative that all parties involved work together as an industry to ensure that regulation is integrated easily and successfully; so that we remain a responsible industry that offers only the best ser-vices,” she says.

The seminars will focus on “problem areas” identified from analyses of the exam records of students who failed the exams multiple times or passed after a few attempts.

When the FSB initially announced the exams, Inseta commissioned a service provider to prepare learning material for all the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act exams. The material is available on Inseta’s and the FSB’s websites.

An online survey to determine advisers’ experiences of using the learning material found that studying the material was one of the top two reasons that contributed to passing the exams.

Information on how to register for a seminar will be posted on Inseta’s website,