April 17, 2013

State Securities Regulators to Hike Exam Fees for Series 63, 65 and 66

Despite increased costs of maintaining the exams, NASAA says the exam fees have not increased for the past four years

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The North American Securities Administrators Association announced Wednesday that it will hike enrollment fees for its state Series 63, 65 and 66 exams on June 1.

Despite increased costs of maintaining the exams, NASAA says the exam fees have not increased for the past four years.

The state tests are administered for NASAA by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and “passing an exam is normally a prerequisite for being licensed by a state before a broker-dealer or investment advisor can work with investors,” says NASAA spokesman Bob Webster.

Candidates enrolling for these exams on or after June 1 will be charged the following:

--Series 63, $115, currently $96;

--Series 65, $155, currently $135; and

--Series 66, $145, currently $128.

While these exams, if passed and kept active, need only be completed once by an advisor, David Bellaire, executive vice president & general counsel for the Financial Services Institute, says that the fees “would be paid multiple times by those who fail to pass the exam and those who leave the business for more than two years and decide to rejoin.”

Says Bellaire: “Any increase in fees in this economy concerns us. While these are not large increases, continued incremental increases in fees could reduce investor access to professional financial advice.”

Jonathan Henschen, president of Henschen & Associates, a broker-dealer recruiting firm, notes that "with the shift to more and more advisors" performing advisory services, "it makes sense that [NASAA] would raise the costs in that one area. Having gone four years without raising the fees, it makes sense that they’d be doing it now."

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