SwedSec Licensiering AB
SwedSec Licensiering AB (SwedSec) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Swedish Securities Dealers Association. SwedSec provides a licensing program for employees within the Swedish financial market. The company started operating in 2001.
The purpose of the licensing program is to maintain confidence in the Swedish financial market. The aim is that a significant majority of all employees with skilled tasks and positions in companies in the financial market, and are under the supervision of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, shall be licenced. Examples of such employees who need the licence can be investment advisors, brokers, managers, analysts, compliance officers, risk managers and management.
To get and keep a licence the Licence Holders must pass the licensing exam, be qualified to have a licence and must undertake to comply with the rules of the securities market. Since knowledge is perishable, all Licence Holders also must undergo an annual knowledge update in areas that are determined by SwedSec’s review board.
The review board is responsible for ensuring that the licensing exam is adapted to developments on the market and amendments to regulations and other legislation.
There are no requirements with regard to the manner in which an employee is to prepare for the examination.
One licence – different examinations
When SwedSec started in 2001 there was only one licensing exam for all, including advisors, brokers, analysts, fund managers, compliance officers and certain managers. For many years there was a desire among Licence Holders and the affiliated companies to have different licensing exams for different target groups.
A first step was taken in January 2013 when a licensing exam was introduced to the investment advisers in the affiliated companies that give advice about investments and insurance to private customers and businesses. In 2014, two new licensing exams were introduced, one for specialists (e.g. brokers, fund managers, analysts) and one for management and control functions. In 2016 a licensing exam for mortgage loans will be introduced.
Which companies can be affiliated?
The types of companies that may affiliate to SwedSec can be found in chapter 2 in SwedSec’s Rules and Regulations. Among these are banks, fund operation companies, insurance companies, insurance mediation companies and Swedish branches of foreign companies engaged in similar activities in Sweden. In exceptional cases and following approval by SwedSec’s Board, other parties which are subject to supervision by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority or which conduct similar operations may affiliate to SwedSec.
Who needs a SwedSec Licence?
The employees who must hold a Licence can be found in chapter 3 in SwedSec’s Rules and Regulations. Among these are certain executives, investment advisors, broker dealers, risk managers, analysts and compliance officers.
To obtain a Licence, the applicant must:
- be employed by a company affiliated to SwedSec,
- be qualified to hold a Licence, which fact shall be certified by the affiliated company,
- pass the licensing examination,
- undertake to comply with SwedSec’s Rules and Regulations, and
- consent to the applicant’s personal data being registered etc.
To continue to be a Licence Holder a person must undergo a yearly knowledge update in accordance to SwedSec’s proficiency requirements.
Disciplinary sanctions and fines
SwedSec has a disciplinary board to determine issues of a disciplinary nature.
The following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed on Licence Holders:
- a reprimand,
- a warning,
- a temporary Licence revocation, or
- a Licence revocation.
SwedSec’s disciplinary board may revoke the Licence where a Licence Holder has violated his/hers obligations pursuant to SwedSec’s Rules and Regulations or has otherwise seriously neglected the obligations incumbent upon him/her in the performance of his/her duties.
The following sanctions may be imposed on affiliated companies:
- fines, and
SwedSec’s board of directors shall decide whether a fine is to be paid and the amount of such fine. In the event an affiliated company has seriously violated its obligations under the Rules and Regulations, SwedSec’s board of directors may decide that the company may no longer be an affiliated company (exclusion).