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Bank makes CFA exams optional after pass rate falls

In a further sign that the popularity of the CFA® exams may be waning, a bank has decided to relax its requirement that juniors sit the exam.

Berenbeg, the privately owned German bank, previously required that its analysts and associates passed all three levels of the CFA exams to achieve the CFA Charter. 

As of today, however, Berenberg has told its juniors that the exams are optional.

In an email seen by eFinancialCareers, Laura Janssens, Berenberg's head of European equities, told staff that after "careful consideration" the bank has decided that the combination of its own graduate scheme and on the job teaching will be sufficient to for "junior colleagues to progress in their careers."

Part of the issue with the CFA is the 300+ hours of study required to pass each exam, and the declining pass rate. "Given the amount of additional study required to pass the CFA exams, we have noted with concern the continued pressure in the pass rates for the exam overall," says Janssens, adding that the bank has decided juniors' time would be better spent "on more tailored career development and building relationships with colleagues and clients."

Juniors who want to take the exams will still be given that option. Berenberg has 38 front office graduate hires. 

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Photo by Akshay Chauhan on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Hk
    13 October 2022

    Spare a thought for those sitting the IFOAs ridiculous actuarial exams where the pass rates are even lower

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