Becoming a registered investment banker is not an easy feat. Luckily, the process of receiving a FINRA investment banking license is fairly straightforward. Let’s take a look at the process in more detail.

What Certifications Do I Need?

To obtain a FINRA investment banking license, you will be required to take the Series 7 and the Series 79 exams. These exams are required by financial professions to ensure that those who take the exam meet the minimum competency requirements for their field. The Series 7 exam is required of all entry-level securities representatives, while the Series 79 exam is only a requirement if an individual wants to find work as an investment banker at the entry level.

What is FINRA?

FINRA stands for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. FINRA is an independent, nongovernmental organization that writes and enforces the rules which govern brokers in the United States.

Financial professionals who want to work in investment banking are required by FINRA to pass what’s called the Series 79 exam, as mentioned above.

What is the Series 79 Exam?

The Series 79 exam, also called the Investment Banking Representative Exam, is designed to assess an individual’s competency to perform the needed services required of an entry-level investment banker. These include advising on debt or equity securities offerings and handling mergers and acquisitions.

Those looking to become officially registered must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam as well as the Series 79 exam. The passing rate for the Series 79 exam in April 2019 was 87%.

Am I Eligible for the Series 79 Exam?

Candidates for the Series 79 exam must be either associated with or sponsored by a FINRA member firm, or another applicable self-regulatory organization. Additionally, the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam is a corequisite exam to the Series 79 exam. A candidate must pass both exams to obtain Investment Banking registration.

Obtaining an official FINRA investment banking license might be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. FINRA’s official site offers practice exams and general overviews to help you prepare for your own exam, as well as scheduling options for when you take the official exam. Both the Series 7 and the Series 79 exams are difficult, though the Series 7 is considered to be the most difficult among them. However, with a dedication to studying you will be able to pass and get started on your future career!