Continuing the drive towards professional standards

Written by James Thomas on Friday March 6, 2015

The call for greater standards of professionalism within the financial sector has increased in volume in the years following the financial crisis. And no doubt that call will continue to get louder.

Indeed, two developments in the news this week highlight the extent to which professional standards have risen up the agenda. The first was the announcement by HM Treasury that the FCA’s new senior managers and certification regime will come into force in March 2016, requiring, amongst other things, firms to certify that individuals performing certain senior management functions are fit and proper to do so. This regime aims to place a greater emphasis on the personal responsibility of key individuals and heighten the regulatory scrutiny placed upon them.

Second was the revelation by Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, that professional standards at the Bank itself have fallen short. Speaking to the Treasury Select Committee, he explained last November’s dismissal of Mark Mallett, chief currency dealer, which followed an independent review into the Bank’s role in the Forex scandal. He suggested that Mr Mallett failed to share information about possible misconduct into the Forex marketwith his superiors and also revealed that Mr Mallett had made “a series of misjudgements” and “at least 20” professional breaches”, including violations of the Bank’s IT and confidentiality policies, and sharing Bank documents externally.

These developments simply highlight the importance of continuing the drive towards improved professional standards across the sector, from regulated firms to the regulators themselves. The ICA has been a leading proponent of the development of compliance as a profession, which will continue to form a key strand of that process.


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