Enterprise Investment Scheme Association launches ‘Diploma’ for financial advisers

10-hour self-study course to provide ‘gold standard’ education in EIS benefits

The Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (EISA) today announced the launch of a new self-study ‘Diploma’, aimed at helping financial advisers explain the benefits of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) to clients.

EISA said the scheme, which will be delivered online in a course lasting approximately 10 hours, would provide the first “gold standard” qualification on the features of EIS, a scheme which it said many wealth managers and independent financial advisers (IFAs) have not felt confident explaining to clients.

Launched in 1994, the EIS is designed to encourage investors to back small and medium-sized businesses in the UK by offering a series of tax reliefs as incentives.

EIS was recently in the headlines after it was revealed approved applications had reached “record levels”, as more UK small and medium-sized businesses than ever looked to raise finance through the scheme.

Topics covered by the new Diploma will include tax implications and regulation, in addition to the wider UK taxation and EIS funds landscape.

It will be delivered in conjunction with exam training company Tolley, and will officially launch on 18th September 2014, although the course is already available.

Sarah Wadham, director-general of the EISA, said: “Up until now there has been no dedicated qualification for EIS advice. As a result financial advisers have felt uncertain about providing advice on this investment scheme which has a reputation for being complex.

“The EIS Tolley Diploma will provide IFAs and fund managers with the expertise they need to confidently  advise and offer EIS investments to their clients.”

Simon Groom, director of exam training and practical guidance at Tolley, added: “For many the much-noted tax benefits associated with EIS investment still remain tantalisingly out of reach.

“We hope that by demystifying EIS we can encourage more investors to offer such services – not only will this mean significant tax breaks for investors, but it will also support economic growth by further supporting the British small business market.

“We’re proud to be partnering with the EIS Association and look forward to working together.”

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