RE Level 1 exemption – last day to apply

30 April 2013 Fiona Zerbst
Fiona Zerbst, FAnews Online Editor

Fiona Zerbst, FAnews Online Editor

Financial services providers who failed to complete the relevant Level 1 regulatory examinations have just today within which to apply to the Financial Services Board (FSB) for permission to continue rendering their services – the deadline is 30 April 201

According to a statement released by the FSB yesterday, financial services providers (FSPs), key individuals and representatives may apply to continue doing business until their exemption applications are processed and Registrar has either granted or refused the applications (“the Dispensation”).

This clarifies the matter, because some FSPs have held the opinion that it was ‘business as usual’ until informed otherwise by the FSB. But the regulations make it clear that they are obliged to notify the Registrar of a change in fit and proper status, which of course includes failing to pass the RE.

A necessary dispensation

The Registrar has felt it necessary to grant this dispensation because so many exemption applications have been received, some of which have not yet been processed. This would mean that a lot of FSPs, key individuals and representatives would be regarded as not being ‘fit and proper’, regardless of whether or not they have submitted an application requesting an extension of the exam deadline.

It’s important to note, though, that this dispensation only refers to people who have written the relevant regulatory exam at least once before 30 June 2012, have submitted an application for exemption to the Registrar (on or before 30 April 2013) and paid the prescribed fee or have applied for exemption from having to pay the prescribed fee. The dispensation only applied to people who have complied with all these requirements.

The dispensation is called the ‘Exemption from Level 1 Regulatory Examination until finalisation of Application for Exemption, 2013’, and it has been published by Board Notice 65 of 2013 in Government Gazette No. 36399 of 23 April 2013. The detailed notice is available on the FSB website,

Editor’s thoughts:
The dispensation is only valid pending the outcome of an applicant’s exemption application. In other words, the dispensation expires when the applicant’s exemption application is granted or refused by the Registrar. Have you applied for exemption yet? Let us know by commenting below or emailing

Comment from Moonstone:

Applying for an Exemption

We pointed out on Monday that the information appearing on the FSB website differed from what we understood the process to be. We referred the matter to the Regulator, and received an amended document confirming the requirements for applying for an exemption.

It is very important that such applicants make sure that they comply with these guidelines. Please click here to download a copy.

Please avoid confusion with another document which also deals with an exemption application. This document was published last year, when certain categories of licence holders were given the option of applying for an exemption from the level 1 REs, in anticipation of the so-called “bespoke” exams.

The document referred to in paragraph 2 is titled “Application for an Exemption in Relation to Qualifications and Regulatory Examinations”. It provides full details of what is required, and confirms that there is no prescribed format.

The deadline to apply for an extension of the RE deadline, as well as for applying to continue doing business while they await the outcome of such requests, was 30 April 2013. While there is no news of a possible extension, those who failed to make this deadline has nothing to lose by submitting such requests in the prescribed manner.

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