Banking and Professional Advice Certificate Program

The Banking and Professional Advice Certificate Program (level II) delivered by CUNEF aims to provide participants with specialised training that will enable them to acquire and/or consolidate the necessary knowledge and competence to professionally advise on investment matters. Participants enrolled on the program successfully passing the exams set for each course will receive the Banking and Professional Advice Certificate. The program is designed in accordance with the “Guidelines for the assessment of knowledge and competence of individuals informing and advising” published by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), and the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

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The Banking and Professional Advice Certificate Program delivered by CUNEF aims to provide participants with specialised training that will enable them to acquire and/or consolidate the necessary knowledge and competence to professionally provide information on investment products, investment services and ancillary services. Participants enrolled on the programme successfully passing the exams set in each exam period will receive the Banking and Professional Advice Certificate. The program is designed in accordance with the “Guidelines for the assessment of knowledge and competence of individuals informing and advising” published by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), and the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

The program is designed to be a tool of exceptional value that permits professionals in the financial sector to obtain the training required by the national and international regulators, (the CNMV and the ESMA, respectively) in order to provide information and marketing services for financial products. Some of the objectives are as follows:

  • Understand the characteristics, risks and essential aspects of the investment products offered by the company, including any general tax implications and expenses that the client will incur within the context of the operations; special attention will be paid when providing information on products with higher levels of complexity.
  • Understand the characteristics, risks and essential aspects of the investment products offered by the company, including any general tax implications and expenses that the client will incur within the context of the operations; special attention will be paid when providing information on products with higher levels of complexity.
  • Understand the characteristics and scope of the investment and ancillary services. Understand how the financial markets operate and how they affect the value and the fixing of the prices of the investment products for which information is being provided to clients.
  • Understand the impact that economic figures and national, regional and global events have on the financial markets and on the value of the investment products for which information is being provided to clients.
  • Understand the difference between past yield scenarios and future yield scenarios, as well as the limitations of forecasts.
  • Sufficiently understand the regulations of the securities market and other aspects of interest such as market abuse and money-laundering.
  • Evaluate data concerning the type of investment products for which information is being provided to clients. such as key investment information documents, prospectus, financial statements and financial data.
  • Understand the specific structures of the market for the type of investment products for which information is being provided to clients and, where relevant, their trading platforms or the existence of any secondary markets.
  • Possess basic knowledge on the valuation principles for the type of investment products offered or recommended to clients.

The programme is aimed at active professionals (graduates) and professionals in the financial sector with a minimum level of post secondary studies or vocational training, and in the latter case demonstrating at least two years’ experience in the financial sector.

Students satisfactorily completing and passing all the academic requirements of the programme (10 ECTS) will receive the Banking and Professional Advice Certificate Program (Professional Certificate recognised by the CNMV).

Technical sheet

Study load 10 credits
Aimed at Graduates and active professionals with at least two years’ professional experience in the financial sector wishing to obtain the certification required by the CNMV to provide financial product information/marketing services.
Dedication Compatible with professional commitments
Class times Friday afternoons (4.30 pm to 9.30 pm)

Saturday mornings (9.30 am to 2.30 pm)

Teaching language Spanish
Enrolment process Analysis of CV and personal interview
Qualification Expert in Banking and Investment Products Certificate

Qualification recognised by the CNMV since 11/05/2018 + CUNEF own postgraduate qualification

The Banking and Professional Advice Certificate Program developed by CUNEF covers nine subjects with a study load equivalent to ten credits. The study program includes nine subjects studying the markets, products and investment instruments that financial institutions offer their clients.

Banking and Professional Advice Certificate Program No. of Credits
Macroeconomic analysis and the financial sector 1 credit
Financial Markets 1 credit
Investment products: fixed income 1 credit
Investment products: equities 1 credit
Investment products: structured products 1 credit
Investment products: investment funds 1 credit
Investment products: savings products 1 credit
Specific regulations and regulatory compliance 1 credit
Tax advice for financial operations 2 credits
Total 10 credits

 

The Banking and Professional Advice Certificate Program has a study load of 10 credits. This study load is equivalent to 100 learning hours, of which 70% has a theoretical-conceptual focus and the remaining 30% a practical-applied approach. The training programme alternates synchronous class-based sessions with online sessions, with “e-Learning” training actions in which the participants interact with the various contents of each subject (technical notes, virtualised content, videos/podcasts, etc.) in a flexible manner using CUNEF’s online learning platform, which allows each participant to adapt their study time to their particular circumstances. CUNEF’s online pedagogical methodology is based on the schedule for each learning module in which the participants interact with the tools with study hours and individual work. Through different methodologies and learning approaches, participants consolidate their knowledge and competences in relation to the subjects studied.

The training program follows a sequential order allowing students to manage the study sessions (class-based and/online) as well as carry out the practical activities according to a specific schedule.

Below follows a brief description of the contents of each subject:

Study Material Contents
Macroeconomic analysis and the financial sector

 

10 class hours

  • Objectives
  • The macroeconomy and the main macroeconomic issues
  • Measuring economic activity and growth
  • Three approaches to calculating GDP
    • Production
    • Expenditure
    • Income
  • Prices and inflation
  • Employment and unemployment
  • The foreign sector
  • Public finances
  • Competitiveness
  • Conclusions
  • Appendix Glossary of macroeconomic and financial sector terms
Financial markets

 

10 class hours

  • Objectives
  • Financial system: general characteristics
    • Definition and functions
    • Elements of a financial system
  • Financial intermediaries
    • The banking sector
    • Banking regulation
    • Banking management tools
    • The Spanish banking sector in the international context
  • Financial markets
    • Fixed income markets
    • Equity markets
  • The ECB monetary policy and the interbank market
  • Conclusions
  • Financial products:
  • Fixed Income
  •  
  • 10 class hours
  • Introduction to the fixed income markets
  • Definition and basic characteristics
  • Structure of a fixed income product
  • Issuance/Listing on a primary/secondary market
  • Valuation of a fixed income product
  • The rating of fixed income issues
  • The risks of fixed income products
  • Costs charged to the investor for subscription to fixed income
  • Information for clients: prospectus, status or financial data on the product
  • Bond IRR, Duration and Sensitivity
  • Determining the price of a Bond
  • Primary Market, issue or listing system
  • The auction system
  • Syndication of issues
  • Fixed income taxation
  • Technical characteristics of the securities issued by the Spanish treasury
  • Treasury bonds: Introduction
  • Main characteristics of Treasury Bonds
  • Primary Market for Treasury Bonds
  • Secondary Market for Treasury Bonds
  • Government Bonds and Debentures Characteristics
  • Primary Market for Bonds and Debentures
  • Secondary Market for Bonds and Debentures
  • Company promissory notes
    • Characteristics
    • Primary Market
    • Secondary Market
  • Other fixed income instruments: mortgage bonds, subordinated debt and securitised bonds
  • SENAF platform (Spanish electronic trading platform for public debt)
  • MARF (Spanish Alternative Fixed Income Market)
  • Solved exercises
  • Module summary
  • References
Financial products: Equities

 

10 class hours

  • Learning objectives
  • Introduction
  • The Stock Exchange as a platform in the intermediation of shares
  • Trading and order types
    • Trading
    • Order types
      • Market order
      • Limit order
      • At best order
  • Equity market transactions
    • Initial public offering (IPO)
    • Offer for subscription
    • Takeover bid
  • Valuation of equity assets
    • Valuation by discounted cash flows
    • Valuation by comparable multiples
    • Valuation by paid multiples
  • Taxation
    • Tax system for collecting dividends
    • Tax system for transactions transferring equity securities
  • Conclusions
  • Glossary of terms
  • APPENDIX I – Example of the valuation of a company using the discounted flows method
  • APPENDIX II Stock exchange indices
Financial products: Structured Products

 

10 class hours

  • Learning objectives
  • Introduction
  • What is a structured product? Definition
  • Classification of structured products
  • Main advantages and disadvantages of structured products for investors and issuers
    • Advantages for investors
    • Disadvantages for investors
    • Advantages for issuers
    • Disadvantages for issuers
  • Practical analysis of the most common structured products
    • Guaranteed deposit
    • Double guaranteed deposit
    • Reverse convertible
    • Self-cancelling deposit
  • Taxation
  • Conclusions
  • Glossary of terms
  • References
Financial Products: Investment Funds

 

10 class hours

  • Investment funds Learning objectives
  • Introduction
  • What is an investment fund?
  • Main actors participating in an investment fund
  • Settlement value of an investment fund
  • Investment fund commissions
  • What is a CII?
  • Advantages of investment funds
  • Types of investment funds
  • What are hedge funds (or free investment funds)?
  • Listed funds (ETFs)
  • Taxation
  • Conclusions
  • Planning of portfolios with investment funds. Learning objectives
  • Introduction
Financial Products: Savings products

 

10 class hours

  • Introduction
    • Starting point 2016
    • How the crisis affected the Spanish pensions system, in figures
    • Changes that entered into force in 2015 and which affect the taxation of the system
    • The Spanish public system
    • The Spanish private system
  • Retirement planning, determining objectives
  • Savings products:
    • Pension plans:
    • Guiding principles of Pension Plans
    • Personal elements
    • Types
      • By Promoting Entity
      • By contributions and benefits system
      • By investment approach (investment policy)
    • Commissions
    • Contributions, limits and taxation
    • Redemption and surrender options: contingencies, early availability and benefits
    • Taxation of redemptions
      • Pension Plans or Guaranteed Contribution Schemes
      • Investment funds
      • Retirement Plan (PSJ):
    • Description and characteristics
    • Taxation
    • Reverse Mortgage:
      • Description and characteristics
    • Individual Systematic Saving Plans (PIAS in Spanish):
      • Description, characteristics and taxation
  • Summary
Specific regulations and regulatory compliance

 

10 class hours

 

  • Specific regulations and regulatory compliance. Learning objectives
  • Introduction
  • Market Abuse
    • What is market abuse?
    • Market abuse regulations in the EU and Spain
    • Financial instruments susceptible to market abuse
    • Specific actions that constitute market abuse
      • Use of inside information
        • Requirements for considering whether information is classed as inside information
        • Transactions and the temptation to perform prohibited transactions when in possession of inside information
        • Prohibition on transferring information
        • Prohibition on the use of inside information by recipient
        • Prohibition on recommending transactions
        • Permitted actions
        • Operating with treasury shares
        • Offence of using inside information
      • Market manipulation
        • Prohibited activities. Signs
        • Permitted activities. Accepted Market Practices (AMP)
      • Obligations of entities trading on the securities markets to prevent market abuse:
        • Listed companies
        • Financial intermediaries. Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) obligations
      • Supervision of the implementation of market abuse regulations
  • Anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing in relation to the securities markets
    • Stages of Money Laundering
    • Characteristics of ML in the securities markets
    • Operations on Equity markets susceptible to concealing the knowledge of the real owner
    • Operations of Investment Services Companies
    • Speciality in private banking services
    • The crime of money laundering
    • Supervision of the implementation of Money Laundering regulations
  • Conclusions
  • Glossary of terms
Tax advice for financial operations

 

20 class hours

  • Teaching objectives
  • Contents
    • Taxation of current accounts, deposit accounts and term deposit accounts
      • Monetary compensation
      • Compensation in kind
      • Special deposits
    • Tax system for investments in financial assets
      • Tax system
      • Temporary taxation. Specific problem of the “non-application rule” for negative returns
      • Discount bonds
      • Specialities for non-resident investors
      • Preferential shares
      • Convertible bonds
      • Subordinated bonds
    • Taxation of investments in equity securities
      • Taxation of dividends and similar
      • Taxation of returns originating from the transfer of securities
      • Treatment of losses derived from the transfer. The “non-application rule”
      • Capital increases. Sale of preferential subscription rights
      • Capital increases. Delivery of fully or partially released shares
      • Reduction of capital through repayment of contributions. Distribution of issue premium
      • Reduction of capital through redemption of shares
      • Scrip dividends as an alternative formula to the traditional dividend. Tax aspects
    • Taxation of investments in collective investment institutions
      • Deferment by transfer system
      • Specialities in the taxation of foreign CIIs
    • Taxation of individual life insurance
      • Delimitation with Inheritance Tax
      • Tax system for exercising the right to surrender and redemption of benefits by the beneficiary when this is the policy holder. Taxation through IRPF (personal income tax)
      • Unit linked insurance
      • Tax system of the benefits received by the beneficiary when this is not the policy holder. Taxation through Inheritance Tax
      • Individual Systematic Saving Plans (PIAS in Spanish)
    • Tax system of contribution pension systems
      • Pension planes
      • Guaranteed pension plans
      • Private long-term care insurance
    • Long-term savings plans (PALP in Spanish)
      • Main characteristics and common requirements of all PALP
      • Tax system
    • Taxation of lending operations
      • Unsecured loan
      • Mortgage backed loan
      • Specific exemptions for the renewal and subrogation operations of mortgage-backed loans under Law 2/1994 of 30 March, on the subrogation and modification of mortgage backed loans
    • Taxation of the credit operations
      • Credit accounts
    • Financing methods for PPE and vehicles for companies and professionals: loans and credits, financial leases and operational leases
      • Tax scheme within Corporate Income Tax
      • Tax scheme within Personal Income Tax
      • Tax scheme within Value Added Tax
  • Conclusions

The assessment system for this certificate is class-based and through objective testing (examinations). The participants are assessed, in order to obtain the certificate, using the following schema:

  • Ordinary examination session: two examinations granting exemption, each corresponding to 50% of the content of the qualification. The examinations held during the ordinary examination session have a duration of 1 hour and have 50 multiple-choice questions with a single correct answer, points are not deducted for answers that are incorrect or left blank.
  • Extraordinary examination session: an examination corresponding to 100% of the content of the qualification [1]. The examination held during the extraordinary examination period has a duration of 2 hours and has 100 multiple-choice questions with a single correct answer, points are not deducted for answers that are incorrect or left blank.

In both cases, the ordinary examination session and the extraordinary examination period, a pass will be awarded for an overall grade of 7 (70% correct answers) provided that a pass rate of at least 50% is obtained for each of the planned content blocks..

The ordinary and extraordinary examination periods will be duly announced (date, time, place, etc.). The examination candidates shall be identified (by showing their DNI or equivalent) when entering and exiting the examination. Likewise, it shall be recorded when the candidate finishes the test and submits the examination.  CUNEF allows candidates to sit the exam with the official book of formulas (supplied by CUNEF) and their calculator.

The Banking and Professional Advice Certificate Program (own certificate) will be awarded once the test is passed.

The CUNEF Assessment Committee is responsible for preparing the examinations. The grade awarded by the Committee will be PASS or FAIL. The Committee decides the passing score for each exam session in order to receive a PASS grade, and is able to reduce the previously mentioned official 70% by a maximum of 10% depending on the difficulty of each examination, or when more than 90% of the candidates have incorrectly answered any given question.

The decision of the Assessment Committee is final, and candidates do not have the right to review the examination. The candidate will not be informed of the percentage of correct or incorrect answers.

Duration of validity

The Banking and Professional Advice Certificate Program (own certificate) is valid for two years. To maintain the validity of the certificate, it will be necessary to reliably demonstrate that a minimum of 20 hours’ annual training has been received in topics and issues related to the content of the qualification.

System for updating knowledge

CUNEF regularly offers courses, conferences and seminars that allow all certificate holders to update their knowledge, and thus maintain the validity of this certificate. Similarly, CUNEF can also positively assess[2] the participation in or development of other non-regulated conceptual initiatives, but closely related to the final objective of the qualification, as training activities for updating knowledge. For example: preparation of doctoral dissertation, end of course projects for masters, end of course projects for graduates, participation in research projects, participation as speakers in national and international forums, etc.

EEach academic year, or on an annual basis, the Assessment Committee shall publish a list of the most relevant content for certificate holders to update their knowledge accordingly, as well as the minimum number of hours required to demonstrate said process for updating knowledge. This can be through participation in courses, seminars, programs, conferences, etc. organised by CUNEF or by other institutions.

Therefore, any individual holding the certificate must demonstrate that they have participated in some of the activities organised by CUNEF every two years. Likewise, certificate holders may request that CUNEF recognise (as hours necessary to retain the certificate) the participation in other activities provided that they are duly approved by an educational institution (national or international), professional association, company from the financial sector or other equivalent institution.

CUNEF’s academic office will maintain a record of all the recognised professionals, as well as an official record of the activities for updating the knowledge of its members, in which they will be able to record the training activities for updating the knowledge of the certificate holders requesting it. Furthermore, the register also allows the CNMV or other third parties request such information, to be informed of the situation of the knowledge updating process of the professionals holding the certificate.

[1] During the extraordinary examination, participants will be tested on the entirety of the course, or the part failed in either of the two examinations during the ordinary examination session.

[2] Through the recognition process of other training activities or equivalent, not organised by CUNEF, to maintain the Expert in Banking and Financial Products Certificate.

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CUNEF’s certification programs are designed to help participants confidently face the new challenges and demands of the current professional environment, characterised by change and continuous innovation, the inevitable presence of new technologies, and global competition. The current managerial setting requires specially trained professionals, with solid capacities for economic, financial and strategic analysis, with the wisdom to measure, analyse, forecast and control risk in its infinite manifestations. With an international outlook and focus, versatile and with leadership and communication skills to mobilise and form multidisciplinary teams. Committed to the generation of economic value, while remaining involved in satisfying the expectations of their stakeholders. And lastly, with values and principles that are simple, but not always commonplace: transparency, honesty, professionalism, dedication, commitment, etc.

Below we offer some of the reasons justifying enrolling on a CUNEF professional Specialisation/Certification Program:

  • Qualification recognised by the CNMV + CUNEF own postgraduate qualification.
  • Acquisition of knowledge required by the regulator (CNMV) to inform, market and provide advisory services in the financial sector.
  • Theoretical-practical approach.
  • Teaching methodology (blended learning), planning and delivery adapted to the needs of active professionals.
  • Improved employability of certified professionals.
  • Consolidation of the capacity for professional progress and development, as well as versatility and adaptation to new environments, new projects and new challenges.
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