Brokers are positive about preparing clients for testing, but complain about the lack of a unified database

Brokers are positive about preparing clients for testing, but complain about the lack of a unified database


In two years of using testing of unqualified investors before purchasing complex financial instruments, more than 9 million people passed it. Professional participants generally have a positive assessment of the established testing practice, but complain about the lack of a unified base of investors who have passed it, which can limit the arrival of active clients to the market. And the share of brokerage clients undergoing testing is being eroded due to the growing number of small private investors who are not interested in complex transactions.

According to the Bank of Russia, over 9 million unqualified investors – clients of large brokers – were tested before purchasing complex financial instruments during the two years of this procedure (see “Kommersant” dated September 30, 2021). At the initial stage, within three months after introduction, about 2 million people underwent the procedure (see “Kommersant” dated January 18, 2022). To date, 33.3% of clients have successfully passed the test. At the same time, the number of unqualified investors over the past year has grown by almost 78% (from 19.7 million to 35 million people), but the share of test participants has decreased significantly (from 23.7% to 9.17%). However, test results in the second year were on average better than in the first, the Central Bank notes.

The most popular instruments that “nequals” buy are Russian shares that are not included in the quotation lists, and Russian bonds without the required rating. Investors are also interested in unsecured transactions. At the same time, according to the regulator, the most popular topics turned out to be the most difficult – the most mistakes were made there. “About half of the investors passed the test the first time, and almost a quarter (23%) passed the test on the fourth attempt. At the same time, the percentage of those passing on the first try gradually decreased as the number of questions in the test increased. The share of those who pass the test on the fourth try or more has also decreased, which may indicate a move away from the practice of taking the test using a brute-force method,” notes the Bank of Russia.

Experts interviewed by Kommersant generally assess the testing procedure positively. It works as a way to draw the attention of unqualified investors to the risks of specific financial instruments and think again, says NAUFOR President Alexey Timofeev. Many brokers have developed entire systems for training clients to develop knowledge about those tools or services for which they are going to take tests, emphasized Igor Pimonov, head of the department of the Internet broker BCS World of Investments.

The share of non-qualifiers has increased, but the share of testing participants has decreased, perhaps because not all investors need financial instruments that require testing. For example, in order to trade Russian blue chips or OFZs without using borrowed funds, no tests are needed, explains Mikhail Apanasenko, head of the risk management department at Digital Broker. In addition, according to Dmitry Lesnov, head of the client service development department of Finam Financial Group, a significant proportion of clients (about 90%) have no more than 10 thousand rubles in their accounts.

At the same time, the format of questions and answers sometimes has a somewhat “Jesuitical” character, where the correct answer requires not understanding, but a thorough knowledge of the subject, and instead of a correct assessment, a very accurate formulaic calculation, notes Dmitry Alexandrov, head of the analytical research department at IVA Partners . In his opinion, this is not always justified.

In the future, according to Alexey Timofeev, testing should be made less formal and rely more on the brokers themselves in assessing the readiness of their clients to carry out transactions that require testing. Dmitry Alexandrov believes that in the testing system it would be advisable to focus on checking the understanding of the principles and the general correctness of assessing the possible financial result of investments. In addition, the presence of a single database of clients who have passed testing would simplify life for both brokers and their clients, says Dmitry Lesnov.

Ksenia Kulikova


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