For those providing financial services to retail clients and for those licensees who are responsible entities, there is an explicit duty imposed upon to act in the client’s best interest and to provide financial services in a manner which is fair, efficient and honest. Usually, the reasons why businesses fail to meet these duties is due to a conflict of interest which hasn’t been identified or properly managed.
Conflicts can either be real, potential or perceived. A real conflict is one which actually exists and as such is the easiest to identify, a potential conflict is one which may happen in the future should you do business with a certain party. Identifying this type of conflict is giving the business and others around you a “advanced notice of a potential conflict” so to speak. Finally, a perceived conflict is one which looks to others that there has been some influence on your decision making regardless of whether this is the case or not.
As international regulators are increasing its attention on conduct, culture and conflicts of interest we suggest that now is the time for you to re visit how conflicts of interest are identified and managed in your business.