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cfmpMarketing professionals within the finance industry may escape licensing exams like the Series 7. However, the Certified Financial Marketing Professional (CFMP) designation from the American Banking Association (ABA) requires some testing of its own. A CFMP demonstrates expertise in bank marketing, and here’s how you get it and maintain it.

Certified Financial Marketing Professional Defined

A Certified Financial Marketing Professional (CFMP) is a professional designation earned by marketing professionals in the finance field. It’s created by the American Bankers Association, the largest banking trade association in the U.S.

A CFMP designation exhibits a financial marketing professional’s knowledge base and level of expertise in the financial marketing field. Certification holders also receive access to the ABA’s Continuing Education (CE) Database.

CFMP Requirements 

To obtain the CFMP, candidates must submit an application and fees for the exam. They also must pass the CFMP exam and meet all other eligibility requirements. 

Candidates can apply for the exam here. The application fee is $100, while the exam fee is $550. Retakes cost $300. You’ll receive word if you’re eligible to take the exam within two weeks. If you are denied access to the exam, you’ll be refunded your exam fee, minus the $100 application fee. 

Eligibility requirements note that a candidate must have at least two years’ experience in financial services marketing. Meanwhile, they also need a bachelor’s degree in business, economic, or marketing. Lastly, candidates must complete the American Bankers’ Association Bank Marketing School

However, a candidate can have a total of five years of experience in marketing. But three of those years must be in the financial marketing sector. 

To maintain the CFMP designation, marketing professionals must complete 36 credits every three years. Recipients earn credits via the ABA Bank Marketing School or conferences. They also pay a $249 annual renewal fee. 

Preparing for the Exam

The computer-based CFMP exam contains 150 multiple-choice questions. Candidates have a maximum of three hours to complete it. Meanwhile, they are provided calculators on-site, and scores are delivered 6 weeks after the exam date. 

Topics covered on the exam include risk management, customer experience and sales, revenue generation planning, branding and communications, and product development and delivery channels. As a result, the American Bankers Association suggests using various study materials to prepare for the exam, including the CFMP exam outline. Candidates can also purchase a number of textbooks to prepare for the exam through ABA’s website. 

If you fail the CFMP exam, you can retake it after 90 days. However, you’ll have to pay the $300 retake fee. But candidates can take the exam as many times as they need to in order to pass. 

The CFMP exam windows are as follows: Dec. 1-21, 2019 (application due date Oct. 2, 2019); May 15-June 15, 2020 (application due date March 16, 2020); and tentatively Dec. 1-19, 2020 (application due date Oct. 2, 2020). The exam is given at various Castle Test sites. (Find your nearest location here.)

Why a CFMP?

Though a CFMP doesn’t give its holders any special powers, it can help enhance their careers. It indicates their experience and willingness to endure study, exams, and continuing education just to maintain their certification.

For people within the bank marketing community, it’s also a means of accessing other certifications through a continuing education database. It also offers discounts to bank marketing conferences and incentives for referrals. Consequently, if a CFMP gets another financial professional to apply for the designation, ABA waives one year, or $249, worth of renewal fees.

The Bottom Line

The Certified Financial Marketing Professional (CFMP) designation demonstrates expertise in bank marketing. To obtain this designation, candidates must submit a completed application and fees for the exam. They also must pass the CFMP exam, and must meet other experience-based eligibility requirements. 

The designation shows that candidates have passed 150-question, multiple-choice exam. It also suggests they possess years of experience in financial marketing and continue their education to this day. In other words, the acronym shows potential employers a lot of effort in as few characters as possible.

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Photo credit: ©iStock.com/courtneyk, ©iStock.com/Anchiy, ©iStock.com/sanjeri

Rachel Cautero Rachel Cautero writes on all things personal finance, from retirement savings tips to monetary policy, even how young families can best manage the financial challenges of having children. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Forbes, The Balance, LearnVest, SmartAsset, HerMoney, DailyWorth, The New York Observer, MarketWatch, Lifewire, The Local: East Village, a New York Times publication and The New York Daily News. Rachel was an Experian #CreditChat panelist and has appeared on Cheddar Life and NPR’s On Point Radio with Meghna Chakrabarti. She has a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University and a master's in journalism from New York University. Her coworkers include her one-year-old son and a very needy French bulldog.
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