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Raising Professional Standards in Financial Services
The CISI believes that integrity is a key component of professionalism, defined as the effective combination of knowledge, skills and behaviour. In each of these areas the CISI has developed products and services where the highest standards of integrity are embedded and regularly tested.
The events of the past few years provide a reminder of the importance of firms acting and demonstrating their honesty, openness, transparency and fairness in all their business activities.
Poor actions by single individuals can result in great costs to firms, both financially and through loss of reputation. Fostering an environment of trust, integrity and professionalism leads to greater confidence, ultimately strengthening a firm’s reputation in the market. We acknowledge that our
and members overwhelmingly support our drive for higher standards and our aim is for the CISI to be the professional body of choice for practitioners in financial services and for Institute membership to be the recognised hallmark of professionalism.
Integrity Matters Product Suite
In April 2013, the CISI became the first professional body to require UK candidates taking customer facing entry level examinations for wholesale/capital markets financial services activities to pass an integrity test.
In September 2013, we announced an extension to this requirement to now also include candidates in Ireland, Europe and North America, to take effect from 1 February 2014.
Wholesale/capital markets practitioners must pass
prior to taking their CISI Capital Markets Programme exam -
Securities, Derivatives, Financial Derivatives or Commodity Derivatives
We introduced this initiative to ensure that exam candidates in the capital markets sector in the UK, Ireland, Europe and North America, who will be working directly with firms and clients, realise the importance of acting with integrity at all times and placing integrity before, and above, profitability.
The CISI believes that the standard of integrity in the wholesale/capital markets sector needs to be at least equal to that of the retail sector. This will also provide the public with some tangible evidence which demonstrates that banks and other financial organisations really are changing their culture.
There are specific questions within other CISI qualifications focusing on integrity and ethics, including:
our foundation level exams -
Fundamentals of Financial Services
Introduction to Investment
This is to ensure that new entrants to the financial services industry appreciate the importance of ethics and trust from the moment they enter the industry.
Investment Advice Diploma
- 20% of the regulatory unit exam is dedicated to integrity
Diploma in Investment Compliance
- A compulsory integrity question is included in the final case study paper
CISI Code of Conduct
Professionals within the securities and investment industry owe important duties to their clients, the market, the industry and society at large. Where these duties are set out in law, or in regulation, the professional must always comply with the requirements in an open and transparent manner.
Members of the CISI are required to meet the standards set out within the CISI’s Principles. These Principles, which are also known as the Lord George Principles in recognition of the contribution made to standards of integrity by the late Lord George FCSI(Hon), impose an obligation on members to act in a way beyond mere compliance and to support the underlying values of the Institute.
View the full code of conduct
The CISI is committed to championing the highest standards of ethical behaviour and practice among our individual members and
. We encourage members and supporters to adopt our Code of Conduct which is also known as the Lord George Principles and is shared with the Worshipful Company of International Bankers.
To further highlight the importance of acting with integrity at all times, in April 2012 we introduced a
for all Fellows (FCSI) and full Members (MCSI) to take and pass the Institute’s
Integrity & Ethics Professional Refresher module
. Part of a two-year plan, in April 2013 it also became a requirement for all Affiliate and Associate (ACSI) members.
We require our Chartered members to take
and pass. Chartered membership demonstrates personal commitment to continuing learning and high standards of integrity and ethical behaviour.
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