South Africa: Regulatory Waivers

The Regulator

The Financial Services Board (FSB) is the South African agency responsible for supervising the financial services industry.

The Financial Advisory and Investment Services Act (FAIS) of 2004 was enacted with the aim of protecting the public against improper conduct by Financial Service Providers (FSPs).

Requirements to Practice

The FAIS Act requires those acting as Key Individuals or Representatives in South Africa to be licensed by the FSB and maintain Fit and Proper Status (honesty, integrity, competence, etc.).

Key Individuals are those who manage or oversee the activities relating to financial services of an FSP.

Representatives are those within an FSP who provide financial advice.

Key Individuals and Representatives must:

  • Hold an appropriate qualification and
  • Pass two Regulatory Examinations:
    • The First Level Regulatory exam will be focused on the application of legislation to financial services businesses.
    • The Second Level Exam will be product specific (e.g. Equities).

Benchmark and Waiver

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) has benchmarked the CFA charter as comparable to its National Certificate in Financial Markets and Instruments.

The CFA charter fulfills Category I, II, IIA, III, and IV of the FSP's entry level qualification for the Key Individuals and Representatives licensing process.

Regardless of date of appointment, all financial licensing applicants must sit for the First Level Regulatory exam, which focuses on legislation such as the FAIS, FICA, and proper code of conduct.


  • Charterholders who were appointed during the FAIS transition period (2004-2009) are exempt from the following portions of the FSB Level II regulatory exam:
    • Category I FSP sub-categories 1, 3-5, 7-15, and 17-19
    • Category II FSP all sub-categories (2.1-2.14)

    This exemption will not apply to Key Individuals or Representatives appointed after 31 December 2009, who will have to write both the first and second level regulatory examinations.