CFA Institute’s top 50 tips to restore trust
The CFA Institute has celebrated the 50th anniversary of its charter by asking its members to contribute to a 50-point checklist of ways to restore trust in the financial services industry.
Called the Integrity List, the ideas were gleaned from investment professionals across the globe and include such tips as ‘lead by example’, ‘take responsibility for the actions of your team’ and ‘act as an expert resource for journalists’.
While ‘become a member of the CFA Institute and sign the required annual ethics statement’ finished the list at number 50, the primary way to restore trust was to ‘make ethics training a high priority for yourself, your colleagues and your firm’.
The lack of commission incentives was also mentioned, at number four on the list - ‘operate with a 100 per cent conflict-free business model’ - although ‘keep client fees low’ was only number 12 on the list.
John Rogers, president and chief executive of the CFA Institute, unveiled the Integrity List at the CFA’s annual conference last week in Chicago.
He called on the profession to take personal responsibility to restore investor trust and reconnect with the public interest.
Mr Rogers said there were three main steps the profession must take to achieve this goal. These were: including exercising a bolder voice for professional ethics; focusing on financial activities that enable economic and social progress; and engaging with a wider community to share, teach and engage.
Shane Mullins, managing director of Nottingham-based Fiscal Engineers and mastermind of the Financial Adviser/Fiscal Engineers Question of Trust campaign, welcomed the CFA’s checklist.
However, he said: “The point I would make is that we not only need to ‘restore’ trust, we also need to sustain it.
“That requires both a deep understanding of the drivers of trust and ‘method’ to build and sustain trust. At its simplest, trust relies on the presence of risk and positive hope about future outcomes and behaviours. This requires effort, energy and commitment centred on delivering against the needs and wants of consumers.
“Trust is a valuable business asset that people will pay for. When our industry wakes up to this fact we will then and only then see the possibility of turning the trust deficit into a trust dividend for all stakeholders and that is good news for everyone.”
He agreed that price is important but there were much bigger issues at stake.
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