CISI Code of Conduct

Membership of the CISI requires members to meet standards set out within the Institute's Principles. These Principles impose an obligation on members to act at all times not only in compliance with the rules, but also to support the underlying values of the Institute.

NEWCode of Conduct updated January 2021

Code of Conduct

Professionals within financial services owe important duties to their clients, the market, the profession and society. Where these duties are set out in law or regulation the professional should comply with the requirements in both letter and spirit.

Members of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) are also required to meet the standards set out within the principles of the CISI’s Code of Conduct, which impose an obligation on members to act at all times not only in compliance with the rules, but also to support the underlying values of the Institute.

Each Principle specifies the duties owed by members to one or more stakeholders who may be impacted by their actions.

There may be situations where professionals are faced with making a decision where the correct course of action is not immediately obvious. In addition to referring to the Code, consideration of the following simple checklist will help to decide the best course of action; is the course of action you are considering honest, open, transparent, and fair?


Have I told no lies or ‘half-truths’ to any party involved in my reaching my decision?


Is everyone affected by my action or decision aware of the consequences?


Have I made sure that my action or decision will not result in any party being unknowingly disadvantaged or unduly advantaged?


Have I considered the interests of my potential stakeholders and not been misleading when making my decision?

CISI Code of Conduct - Principles

Principle - Personal Accountability
Stakeholder(s): Self, Clients, Regulators, Colleagues, Market Participants, Firm, Profession, Society
To strive to uphold the highest levels of...
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Principle - Client Focus
Stakeholder(s): Clients
To put the interests of clients and customers first...
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Principle - Conflict of Interest
Stakeholder(s): Clients, Market Participants, Regulators
Being alert to and actively manage fairly...
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Principle - Respect for Market Participants
Stakeholder(s): Clients, Market Participants
To treat all counterparties and business partners with respect...
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Principle - Professional Development
Stakeholder(s): Profession, Clients, Colleagues
To strive continually for professional excellence...
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Principle - Aware of Capabilities
Stakeholder(s): Clients, Profession, Market Participants
To decline to act on any matter about which...
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Principle - Respect Others and the Environment
Stakeholder(s): Society, Colleagues, Clients, Regulators, Market Participants, Profession, Professional Body
To treat everyone fairly and with respect...
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Principle - Speak Up & Listen Up
Stakeholder(s): Society, Colleagues
To be active in speaking up and...
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What is a disciplinary offence?

Members are expected to inform the CISI in a timely manner of anything (e.g. commencement of a disciplinary investigation by your employer, or conviction of a criminal offence) which may affect their suitability to remain a member.

A disciplinary offence is a breach of the CISI Membership Regulations – these are the rules that govern the professional behaviour of all CISI members. A full list of disciplinary offences can be found in Section 16 of the CISI Membership Regulations.

In summary, the Institute can take disciplinary action against any member who:

  • (a) commits any act likely to bring discredit to himself/herself
  • (b) performed work incompetently
  • (c) failed to satisfy a judgement debt
  • (d) breached any of the CISI Regulations
  • (e) failed to pay membership
  • (f) failed to undertake the required amount of CPD
  • (g) failed to comply with an order of the Disciplinary Panel
  • (h) pleaded guilty or been found guilty by a court of a criminal offence
  • (i) received a penalty including a reprimand imposed by a Regulatory Body or other Professional Body
A member shall not be considered guilty of a disciplinary offence by virtue of any act, omission or failure occurring at a time before they became a member of the Institute provided that the member made a full and frank written disclosure of the act, omission or failure in connection with their application for membership.

Disciplinary self-declaration form:

Should you need to declare a disciplinary matter, you can do so by emailing with the following information:

  • the nature of offence/incident
  • chronology of event(s)
  • if relevant, details of the conviction
  • relevant written representations regarding the matter, which may include any mitigating circumstances you wish to be considered.

Do I need to raise a complaint?

Professionals within securities and investment owe important duties to their clients, the market, the profession 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. A material breach of the Code of Conduct would be incompatible with continuing membership of the CISI.

Please note that a complaint to the Institute is not a substitute for using a firm’s established complaint handling procedure, nor can it cover complainants seeking financial redress, in which case complaints should be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) provides free and impartial advice on aspects of workplace relations and employment law. Some tips on dealing with disputes from Acas are available here.

If you are based in the UK, you can find out more information on the Financial Conduct Authority Website (FCA): How to complain, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

If you still feel you need to raise a complaint please answer the questions below.

Is the individual a member of the CISI?

Yes No Don't know
The CISI cannot discipline or investigate individuals who are not CISI members.

Has the individual materially breached the CISI Membership Regulations, one or more of the principles of the CISI’s Code of Conduct?

Yes No
The CISI can only discipline members breaches of the CISI Membership Regulations, and Code of Conduct. It may be more appropriate for you to refer your complaint to another regulatory body, for example the FCA.

Have you spoken to the individual's employer?

Yes No
It may be possible to address the issue quickly by talking to the person involved, or their employer. This gives them the chance to look into the matter and put it right. Details of how to make a complaint should be available on the firm's website.

Should you still wish to raise a complaint, you can do so here.

Was your complaint handled to your satisfaction?

Yes No
If you are not happy with the response, the individuals employers rejects your complaint or you do not hear from them within 8 weeks, the Financial Ombudsman Service may be able to help you.

Should you still wish to raise a complaint, you can do so here.
Please advise us of the outcome using the complaints form.

Summary of the CISI Disciplinary Process

Step 1
Misconduct allegation received by the CISI Professional Standards team. The team will review the information to see if it is appropriate for the CISI to investigate, and proceed accordingly.
Step 2
Should there be grounds for an investigation, the misconduct allegation will be reviewed by the Disciplinary Review Panel. The Disciplinary Review Panel decide whether or not, there is a case to answer.
Step 2: Scenario One
The Disciplinary Review Panel could conclude that there is "no case to answer", in which case the member will be notified, and no further action will be taken.
Step 2: Scenario Two
Scenario Two: The Disciplinary Review Panel could conclude that there is a "case to answer" and the member will be notified.
Step 3
Should there be a "case to answer" the member will be informed of the formal allegations, and given the opportunity to provide further information, e.g. written evidence/statement.
Step 3: Scenario One
Scenario One: After further investigation, the Disciplinary Review Panel could conclude there is "no case to answer". The member will be notified, and no further action will be taken.
Step 3: Scenario Two
The Disciplinary Review Panel could conclude there is a case to answer, the member will be notified that their case will be referred to the Disciplinary Panel.
Step 4
Should there be a "case to answer", a Disciplinary Hearing will be scheduled which the member can attend with a guest of their choosing. A report to the Disciplinary Panel will be shared with the member and panel, which will provide detailed information on the case, any written submissions and evidence prior to the hearing date.
Step 5
Once the Disciplinary Panel has reached their final decision, there will be either (a) sanctions imposed (b) no further action to take. Should the member wish to, they can request to appeal the decision.
Step 6
In summary, possible sanctions, should they be imposed include: additional hours of CPD; completion of IntegrityMatters test; denial of CISI facilities; reprimand; severe reprimand; suspension; reduction in member status and expulsion.
Step 6: Scenario One
Case has been concluded, and the member has not made a request to appeal.
Step 6: Scenario Two
Scenario Two: The member has made a request to appeal, which has been approved, and the case is heard by the Appeals Panel.
Step 7
Appeals Panel reach the final decision and the findings are either upheld amended or overturned.

Disciplinary Findings

It is necessary to ensure members comply with the Institute’s Charter, Bye-Laws and Regulations (including the CISI Code of Conduct) through the Institute’s disciplinary process. The application and administration of the Institute’s disciplinary process shall be overseen and directed by the Disciplinary Committee.

Mr Kevin Gilligan ACSI 10 June 2020

We discovered that Mr Gilligan had been personally sanctioned by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and prohibited from performing the functions of director, controller, partner or manager of a regulated entity for six years and two months. The Commission’s investigation found that a regulated firm, of which Mr Gilligan was a director, failed to (1) administer certain funds in accordance with the principal documents and information particulars, (2) abide at times with contractual and legal obligations, (3) adequately identify and manage conflicts of interest, (4) obtain adequate client due diligence and enhanced due diligence in relation to its book of business, (5) at times effectively monitor business relationships and transactions, (6) at times, to ensure that proper books and records were kept and that these were readily retrievable and (7) at times, to exercise effective policies procedures and controls for forestalling, preventing and detecting money laundering and terrorist financing. It also found that the directors failed, at times, to adhere to a director’s fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of a company.

Mr Gilligan was found to have breached the disciplinary offences 16.1 (a), 16.1 (b) and 16.1 (d) as per the CISI Membership Regulations, including several Code of Conduct principles.

Mr Gilligan has been expelled from CISI membership for a period of six years and two months.


Disciplinary findings will appear on the CISI website for as long as a sanction remains on a member’s record. The recommended time a sanction should remain on a member’s record is set by the Disciplinary Panel, and is usually 12 months from the date of the hearing.

A Disciplinary Panel may determine that a member is in breach of the regulations, and impose a sanction, but use their discretion not to publish the findings. Reasons why a Disciplinary Panel may determine that publication is inappropriate include (but are not limited to):

  1. That doing so would harm a third party;
  2. The member is considered to be, and has provided information to demonstrate, that they are a vulnerable individual;
  3. That doing so would prejudice an ongoing investigation into the same/similar matter by another organisation.