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UK traders should have to pass exam to trade, bank group says

[LONDON] Thousands of bond, currency and commodities traders in London should have to pass an exam and obtain a new qualification to trade as part of attempts to raise standards, Britain's bank lobby group said.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) said a "licence to trade" qualification and tougher codes of conduct should be introduced as part of the drive to strengthen trust in financial markets after a series of damaging scandals. "The BBA believes that everyone undertaking activity in wholesale FICC (fixed income, currencies and commodities) markets should be required to pass exams and become professionally qualified," the BBA said on Wednesday.

It would not need to be one single qualification for all markets, and could depend on the activity, the BBA said in response to a Bank of England and UK government consultation on the Fair and Effective Markets Review.

The trade group also said proposals to increase individual accountability for senior managers should be extended and all bank staff, excluding those in retail banking, should be subject to more stringent standards.