Financial sector can leverage on new industry ethics guide


Munir (third, left) during the launch of FSPB guidance notes for the code of ethics. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian financial services industry (FSI) can freely leverage the newly released ‘guidance notes’ to the Code of Ethics (CoE) for the industry, the Financial Services Professional Board (FSPB) yesterday said.

Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said the Guidance Notes provided additional guidance and explanation on how each of the principles in the CoE applies in practice through appropriate policies, procedures and processes within an organisation.

He said organisations in the industry could use the CoE principles to assess if they have the proper policies and procedures in place.

“These Notes explore how the five principles can be achieved and applied in organisations across the FSI.

“The CoE complements the formal system of regulation and contributes towards public oversight of the FSI through a code developed by the industry, for the industry and in the public interest,” Munir said in a press conference after launching the ‘Guidance Notes’ to the CoE here yesterday.

The FSPB CoE, which was launched in January 2016, outlines a set of five broad fundamental principles to which institutions and individuals in the FSI should adhere to.

The five principles are competence, integrity, fairness, confidentiality and objectivity, to instil a culture of professionalism in the industry through the development and advocacy of professional and ethical standards.

The Guidance Notes, launched to support the CoE, meanwhile, include a summary of recommended policies, procedures and processes under each ethical principle, a list of do’s and don’ts, common scenarios faced in the FSI and suggested responses, as well as questions to be asked in situations where a principle might be compromised.

Munir pointed out that the Guidance Notes were not replacing any existing laws, regulations and codes, to which individuals and organisations must refer to for the relevant industry standards and applicable laws.

He noted the Guidance Notes were drafted and revised following consultation with the industry, including a two-day workshop with members of the FSI in February 2017, and reviewed by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia.

FSPB is a voluntary industry-wide initiative focused on the development and advocacy of professional and ethical standards across the FSI.

The board is also planning to launch a set of FSI professional code of conduct next year, in collaboration with the industry, to look at how the industry can measure and assess some of the unwelcome behaviours and to support the overall position of the CoE in the industry. — Bernama