BSP extends certification of UITF sellers

 The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has extended by another year or up to 2023 the transitory period for the certification  of marketing personnel authorized to sell unit investment trust funds (UITF).

 The previous transitory provision for existing UITF marketing personnel to be certified was supposed to begin in 2022. In a circular, signed by BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno on Thursday, the Monetary Board approved that the certification requirement will be implemented beginning in 2023 instead.

 The UITF certification program was part of stricter rules that the BSP has employed for consumer protection. The program will improve the quality of sales and marketing practices of UITF marketing staff, according to the BSP, as it will ensure that financial consumers will have sufficient information about UITFs.

Last September, the BSP also approved a rule that will allow trust corporations to sell and distribute UITFs through third parties such as individual and institutional agents.

   The BSP Circular No. 1103 stated the one year deferment of the certification requirement for UITF marketing personnel. The transitory period was to ensure orderly transition of existing UITF marketing personnel. During the transitory period, those authorized to sell UITFs under the existing requirements that will fail the certification program will “forfeit their existing qualification and will not be allowed to sell UITF until such time that they obtain the required certification.”

 The UITF certification program was first approved in 2018. It requires all UITF sellers or personnel involved in the sales and marketing of UITFs to be certified by a “reputable financial services industry association/organization” that the BSP will approve of.

 To ensure the “competence and integrity” of UITF marketing personnel, the certification program should at least or “at a minimum” have a qualifying examination, a requirement for continuing education, and a requirement for registration of the certified UITF marketing personnel.