A higher percentage of hopefuls for the Chartered Financial Analyst designation passed the second level of their three-part exam in June compared with a year earlier and success rates for the first level were unchanged.
Thirty-eight percent of applicants passed the first test, the Charlottesville, Virginia-based CFA Institute said today on its website, unchanged from June 2012 and up from 37 percent when it was administered in December. The second level was achieved by 43 percent, up from 42 percent in June of last year. Results for the third level will be released in August.
Wall Street firms are rebounding from the financial crisis as first-half revenue at the six biggest U.S. banks climbed for the first time in four years. Even amid better markets, trust in financial services remains low, CFA Institute Chief Executive Officer John Rogers said in May.
“It’s important now, while the markets are better, that we redouble our efforts to do try something about systemic risk,” Rogers said in a Bloomberg Television interview that month. “Systemic risks are growing in the system, and it’s very important that we continue to keep our eye on the ball and not just get complacent because market levels are better.”
Certification can lead to better jobs, higher salaries and a deeper understanding of finance. Candidates may take the Level 1 exam in both June and December, whereas Level 2 and Level 3 are only offered in June. Successful charter recipients spend an average of 300 hours preparing for each exam and typically take four years to complete all three tests, according to the not-for-profit institute.
Enrollment for the exam in June fell for the first time in eight years, declining 2.2 percent to 146,605 from a year earlier, as Wall Street employment shrinks. The industry has contributed less than 2 percent of New York City’s job growth since the recession ended, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said in a statement last month.