UAE fin­ancial services professionals polish their skills

The number of UAE-based financial services professionals seeking to increase their skill sets has surged in the past year.

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (Cisi) reported that a total of 3,625 exams were taken by UAE-based professionals during the 12 months to the end of March, an increase of 27 per cent on the previous 12-month period, making it one of the institute’s largest markets outside the UK.

“The UAE is the powerhouse of our international exams sittings,” said Matthew Cowan, Cisi’s Middle East director.

“Unlike in the UK there’s no regulatory requirement for the exams to be sat. It’s a testament to the UAE that it wants to compete on an international level the fact that it’s voluntarily taking such qualifications.”

“We’ve seen a tremendous growth in the qualified financial services industry workforce, and we’ve built solid partnerships along the way which indicate this growth is only going to continue.”

The Cisi sits about 30,000 exams a year in its home territory of the UK, with nearly 13,000 exams sat internationally.

Qualifications related to wealth management were the most popular exams taken over the past year in the UAE, with Islamic finance and compliance qualifications also proving popular, according to Mr Cowan.

About a third of the exams sat over the past year were in Arabic, he noted.

The number of exams taken across the Middle East has increased by 61 per cent over the past five years.

Cisi membership in the UAE grew by 34 per cent in the 12 months to the end of March, thanks to new corporate supporter arrangements with institutions including Commercial Bank of Dubai and Chartercross Capital Management.

Such arrangements come on top of existing relationships with institutions including Mashreq, NBAD and Emirates NBD.

The Cisi last month introduced two new qualifications in the UAE for combating financial crime and managing cybersecurity.

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