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feifa creates conduct code for members

In a move aimed at boosting industry standards, the Federation of European IFAs (FEIFA) is raising the bar for its 31 existing member firms, with a new code of conduct.

feifa creates conduct code for members

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FEIFA chief executive Paul Stanfield told delegates at its central London spring conference on 19 March that the code of conduct would be sent out “within weeks”.

The code covers ten key areas ranging from anti-money laundering, capital adequacy, complaints process, clients’ interests, and conflicts of interest, to data protection, professional indemnity insurance, recruitment, regulation and compliance and tax and legal responsibilities.

The idea for the code of conduct was sparked by some of the recruitment activities within the industry, Stanfield said, “active ‘poaching’ if you like – which many of our members felt was inappropriate. We thus decided that a recruitment code of conduct might help to clarify what we believed was the appropriate way to operate.

“This idea then developed a stage and it was felt that a code of conduct to encompass all of the main areas of activity could be highly beneficial to our membership.”

The aim then became to create sensible and clear guidelines, “the parameters of which would be set to a great degree by the membership, as to what is deemed to be relevant behaviour within regulated and well-run businesses. This would then reflect very well on the membership and have a positive effect outside of FEIFA.”

He added that it would also provide a template for prospective member companies, “setting principles that they would need to buy into, thus protecting existing members and the integrity of FEIFA.”

The new code spells out that members should never proactively directly contact or “poach advisers or other staff from other FEIFA member companies”. It states: “In fact, such poaching from any other IFA company in the same region should be avoided where possible.”

Another point covers a formalised and stated complaints process which should meet any national and European Union requirements, where relevant.

This latest step towards common good practice sits well with one of FEIFA’s stated objectives, to raise standards in the industry. In the accompanying statement to members, FEIFA states that “it has become increasingly clear that a code of conduct is an appropriate way of assisting this goal and making members, in particular, prospective members, aware of the standards that are expected.”

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