It was reported in today’s newspapers that the Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS), the premier professional association for financial practitioners, had endorsed a MBA program that turned out to be a fake.
More than 80 students have graduated with the fake MBA.
IFPAS had marketed this MBA program offered by Vancouver University (VU) and CPPD Systems Associates. Apparently, VU was not approved by the Canadian government to grant degrees and has been told to shut down in 2007.
Subsequently, the MBA program was transferred to International University (UI) in Vienna, but it is also not on the Austrian’s government list of approved private universities.
IU was actually registered in the American state of Alabama, which has been known to have a number of degree mills.
Other than the fake MBAs, some insurance agents have gone further to obtain their PhD from the unaccredited universities. Next time you see an insurance agent with a Dr title, you might want to ask him where and how he obtained his doctorate from.
A lot of other credentials have also come onto the market in the past couple of years. For example, you now have titles like Chartered Asset Manager (CAM), Chartered Wealth Manager (CWM) and Master Financial Professional (MFP).
I’m not too sure about the validity about these newer titles as some of them can be earned with minimal study and a few hundred dollars.
The ones that are actually more established and recognised would be Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®).
The CFP® and ChFC® are quite similar and are more applicable to financial planners. They are at a lower level compared to the CFA which remains the certification of choice for people in the financial industry.