Ordinance No 7 of 27 May 2021 of the Financial Supervision Commission (the Ordinance) regulates the procedure for acquisition, recognition and revocation of the legal capacity of investment advisers and brokers of financial instruments, as well as the additional requirements to the activity they carry out.
In accordance with the established legal definition, a broker of financial instruments is a natural person, who by virtue of a contract with an investment intermediary, directly accepts and transmits orders in connection with financial instruments, executes orders for account of clients of the investment intermediary and concludes transactions (Article 2 of the Ordinance). On the other hand, the term investment adviser means a natural person, who provides investment advice and services, as well as concludes certain types of contracts (Article 3 of the Ordinance).
The Ordinance introduces prohibitions for combining the activities carried out by brokers and advisers (Article 4), as well as conditions, which must be met by persons wishing to carry out such activities (Article 5). The conditions are the following:
✓ meeting the relevant requirements provided for in the Markets in Financial Instruments Act
✓ successfully passing an exam for acquiring the right to exercise the relevant activity
✓ acquiring a qualification recognised by the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC)
The Ordinance explicitly stipulates that the language of the admission exam is Bulgarian. It also allows individuals, who have already acquired a qualification that meets the requirements included in the thematic scope of the relevant exam, to acquire the right to provide financial instruments brokerage services or investment advice. The qualification must be certified by a document testifying to an obtained degree, diploma or another certificate issued by a competent foreign certification body or organisation. In this case, the certifying document is subject to recognition by the FSC.
The FSC enters ex officio in its public register the persons who have acquired the right to provide financial instruments brokerage services, respectively investment advice (Art. 30, para. 1, item 8 of the Financial Supervision Commission Act) within 7 days of acquiring, respectively of recognising the right to exercise the activity.
Article 23 of the Ordinance prescribes the conditions under which the right to provide financial instruments brokerage services or investment advice is revoked, namely when the broker or consultant:
✓ has submitted incorrect data or documents with incorrect content, which served as grounds for admission to an examination or recognition of acquired qualification
✓ ceases to meet the requirements for acqusition or recognition of the right to provide financial instruments brokerage services or investment advice
✓ has not exercised the activity for more than three consecutive years as of the acquisition or recognition of the right to provide financial instruments brokerage services or investment advice
Finally, the Ordinance foresees the imposition of administrative criminal liability on the persons who violate its requirements, as well as the persons who allow such violations.