Further qualifications - IMC??


Not sure is this is right forum to be posting this sort of question… if looking to move from accountancy to banking (not necessarily high flying front office stuff), would it be useful to get the IMC qualification off my own back? How useful is this qualification?




I don’t know if you really need to do anything - a lot of firms would be happy with the accountancy background. However, if you wanted to FSA is one to look at - sales, trading, research etc all have to do this before getting going on a desk. I know people working in risk and ops who haven’t done either FSA or IMC though so if may be worth looking into the job you want before starting. I am studying for my IMC at present and there’s quite a lot of content (it’s more for if you’re hoping to go into asset management related work - not sure if this is your plan?!). Good luck and I am sure you’ll be fine. Lots of jobs on efinancial say accountancy apps accepted etc.


That’s great, thanks. Seeing as you’re studying it, is it something you can do self study, or is attending a course helpful? Sometimes they just rattle through the material on courses and I prefer going at my own pace, plus the obvious cost and holiday time saving.

Also, what is the FSA qualification?


The FSA qualification is basically a regulatory qualification which makes sure you understand the legal and ethical principles behind the markets- including things like insider trading and money laundering. It’s a requirement for anybody who is going to be working with serious cash to have. Banks will typically sponsor students through this- it isn’t something you have to do on your own.

Have you got an accountancy qualification? Something like the [[ACA]] will be enough to get you in. Furthermore, you should certainly apply before doing any extra qualification and even before resigning- they might well take you based on your background already (even if it’s in a finance role).

One thing though, the general outlook for IB recruitment this year isn’t great, so odds are sadly not in your favour for getting in, qualified or otherwise.


I didn’t realise that getting approved status was called the FSA qualification, perhaps I’m even exempt from a few bits, after all the joyful money laundering and ethics exams I’ve done. I’ve got my ACA and CTA (“there’s only two certainties in life… death and taxes”) which means all the headhunters are doing the rounds promising how much greener the grass is in [X field they are paid to plug]. I want to see what life is like outside my current role before I’m too old/expensive to move. There’s loads of redundancies in anything transaction/sales related at my firm already, so I’m not totally naiive. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know, and I’m not waiting 5 years to try something different out of caution. Thanks for the tips.


I think you should just give it a go. There’s probably not much benefit in getting any more qualifications, particularly if you’ve already got [[ACA]] and [[CTA]] already.

Just one thing though. If you do go to an investment bank, it probably makes the most sense to not end up doing a finance or tax related role, otherwise you’ll just be doing mundane finance related work.

There’s no harm or real risk in what you’re doing. ACA CTA will always be massively in demand and well paid- you’ll never have a problem getting a job or putting food on the table. You’re in a fortunate position to try going after your dream job and seeing what happens, with little chance of fallout!

Remember though, if you are looking at getting into investment banking, don’t expect any bonuses (or even much luck getting in) until after the market improves. Which could be some time yet.


I have the IMC myself, it took 10 weeks of self study for the 2 modules. I didn’t find the exams too tough.
As for the qualification itself, I wonder if it’s little more than an “i am not a complete idiot” type benchmark qualification. Having said that I think it an essential one to have for a career in investment to attain the FSA “approved person” status. Lots of people in sales and general inv jobs like that seem to have it.


I agree, it’s not to taxing! I got my books 2 weeks before my exam and was totally fine.


I intend no offence (and it is only my opinion), but writing down “IMC qualified” appears a little desperate if you have no experience in IB. Learning a language is definitely a better use of your time; IB’s appreciate that more than qualifications that you’d take on their programme anyway! Besides, I presume you have an ACA/ACCA/CIMA qualification, which speaks volumes.


I dont think thats entirely fair. I reckon if you dont have experience then at least it shows a desire to work in the industry. The texts and the exam together costs a couple of hundred quid!!
I personally have investment experience so no offence is taken, but the above statement is my 2 pence worth!


I have read the above comments, but I am still going to ask for advice:

I graduated with an MSc in Economics 8 year ago (long time I know). I then got married and had kids. Now that they are all at school, I want to work. I have no work experience in the financial or banking sector.
I have been advised to do the IMC to gain entry into IB. What would any of you advise?

I am 30 now, so I want to get into the job market as soon as I can.
I appreciate any advice.


I would appreciate it if someone could give me some advice…thanks.


I was thinking about doing the IMC but it turns out that the IMC is being replaced with a new set of exams in Semptember (due to Bank of England taking over FSA role I imagine). That means you’d need to pass both parts of the IMC before end of August. FIne if you’ve got masses of spare time but I’ve personally decided not to bother. I think its probably more important to go out and get experience, show youre interested and prove your skills…