Richard Kafton, managing director of London-based Cedar House Financial Services, said the CII had informed him that his economics degree would not count towards a chartered status application as it was not achieved during the past 10 years. He added that the EHRC has since indicated to him that this rule potentially breached equalities legislation.

Mr Kafton said the EHRC had given him the wording of a letter to write to the professional body to gain further information, which he said could then be used in an EHRC case.

The letter to the CII said: “I have now taken advice on this ageist approach of the CII from the EHRC, who have informed me that the CII was acting unlawfully under the Equality Act 2010.”

The document then asks for “evidence and factual reasons” on how the CII has adopted the 10-year rule. It also asked: “What is the proportionate means of achieving the legitimate aims of the CII with regard to the 10-year rule, if this approach specifically excludes highly-experienced practitioners such as myself, who have always strictly adhered to the CPD requirements laid down by the CII, as well as the FSA?”

The EHRC declined to comment on specific cases but highlighted an ongoing indirect age discrimination case before the supreme court which is being funded by the commission.

A statement from the EHRC about the Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police case, said: “The police force introduced a new policy stipulating that top-level employees must have a law degree. Homer, who is a top-level employee, says this is indirect age discrimination. He would not be able to get a degree before his planned retirement.

“The supreme court heard the case in January and, based on the time judges have taken to rule on other cases before this court, we expect it will make a ruling soon.”

A spokesman for the CII said: “We will only discuss the details of any member or customer enquiry with the individual, so cannot give any further comment on this particular correspondence.

“In line with other professional bodies [like the Institute of Financial Planning and ifs School of Finance], academic qualifications completed more than 10 years ago will not be taken into account in the recognition of prior learning scheme.”

Mr Kafton claimed he was three points off gaining chartered status but was told by the CII that he could not use his degree in economics as recognition of prior learning as it was achieved in 1978.

Article from FT adviser