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Beginning to turn the tide

With so much bad news it is worth noting a small piece of news that emerged yesterday, which has significant future value to financial services companies and also wider consumer interests, as the industry attempts to turn the tide.

The Securities and Investment Institute (SII) launched its new careers website aimed at introducing and educating people as young as eleven to a career in financial services. But the website also provides a window for the wider consumer community by supplying general knowledge about the industry which has been distinctly lacking in the past.

At last the financial services industry in the guise of the SII is taking the initiative to address the tough but fundamental problem of equipping the industry with fully qualified and well informed people.

With this initiative there is likely to be a new breed of employee in the future who will probably be younger, more industry aware and should operate with a high degrees of ethics as championed by the SII. These new professionals will have to be qualified in a broader range of services and products and possess far greater knowledge than their predecessors and the new SII website could be the beginning of attracting these people into an industry desperately needing to rebuild the confidence of the consumer.

The SII are intending to continue to develop the website to increase its accessibility through multiple channels, bringing the sometimes complex world of financial services into the homes of the consumer and the hands of employees.

This must surely be seen as a good move by the financial services industry as it attempts to turn the tide of public opinion and put into place knowledge based solutions, to counteract the recently reported severe lack of understanding of many senior people in the industry, who have been unable to fully grasp the business they are in and the failure of many firms in conducting ethical business practices.   

The SII initiatives are supported by their burgeoning membership which is in excess of 50k individuals and includes most of the top financial institutions through corporate membership. In addition to this new initiative the UK based SII has been expanding its global reach into many international markets and this is sure to bring about a global leap in industry and product knowledge, essential if the general world economy and the global financial markets are to recover quickly from today's financial meltdown.

The SII have been working with the Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC) and various colleges including Tower Hamlets College where the National Skills Academy for Financial Services is based, to develop this new website and are aiming to extend their links and relationships to wider communities that have a direct interest in training and teaching about financial services.

This is an excellent start which I believe deserves to be a resounding success and I hope that people are encouraged to look at this website and were relevant build links to it. It's a small but significant step towards the beginning of turning the tide but wow is it needed!

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