Increase ethical standards in financial industry

By KEVIN WONG / Pic By TMR

Financial Services Professional Board (FSPB) chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abdul Majid (picture) said in order for the government’s mission to reform the country to become more transparent and accountable, financial industry players need to also heighten their ethical standards.

“We have to ensure that we improve our professional conduct and standard of ethics. In order to do this, we must be transparent, accountable and professional.

“Accountability is very important in both politics and institutions. How-ever, it can only happen if there is transparency,” he told reporters after the launch of the FSPB Professional Code for financial services industry in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) deputy governor Jessica Chew said “Keeping to the highest standards of ethics and integrity is an inextricable part of being professional.”

“The violation of trust and ethical standards by capable, competent and clever people have made the public to lose confidence in the industry,” Mohd Munir said.

According to him, the launch of FSPB Professional Code will provide the full suite of capabilities, standards and responsibilities that must be fulfilled in the financial services industry.

He said the Professional Code will help instil standards of conduct, enhance confidence and promote sustainability across the sectors.

“The code has provided 10 fundamental standards of professional conduct expected of organisations and individuals in the FSI (financial service institutions), banking, insurance, capital market and the Islamic finance sectors,” he said.

He added that the adoption and implementation of the code is not compulsory.

Introduced in January 2016, with the intention to complement a formal system of regulation through a voluntary principles-based code developed by the industry, for the industry, the FSPB Professional Code is part of the FSPB Code of Ethics.

Subsequently, in October 2017, FSPB launched its Guidance Notes to the Code of Ethics (CoE) to provide guidance on how the principle of the code may be applied in practice through policies, procedures and processes within an organisation.

Mohd Munir said the Professional Code together with the CoE and the Guidance Notes will be recommended to the industry to assist financial institutions as they grapple with the need for an acceptable standard of ethics and conduct.

“We look forward to work with the industry and other organisations committed to ensuring a stable and robust financial system underpinned by a high standard of ethical and professional conduct,” he said.

The FSPB Professional Code was developed through a process of consultations with industry leaders alongside feedback and comments from BNM as well as the Securities Commission.