CII highlights the importance of regulation
The report, which provides an oversight on the progress in professional standards across the financial services and general insurance markets, covers the programme of work undertaken by the CII’s Professional Standards Board in 2012 – a year where professional standards, conduct and public trust and confidence in the broader financial services sector were to the fore.
The report says that protecting the public interest is central to the CII’s purpose and a key component is maintaining and improving public confidence and trust in the financial services market.
However it states this will be achieved only by creating a genuinely global profession where the best interests of the public are to the fore, where ongoing learning and expertise are cherished, and where the highest standards of ethical behaviour are pursued.
The report says: “Modern professional bodies need to demonstrate to the wider public that there is good governance in place to guide this work. They must also ensure that they contradict the famous assertion of George Bernard Shaw that “all professions are conspiracies against the laity”.”
Commenting, David McIntosh QC (Hons), chair of the CII Professional Standards Board, said: “As someone who has seen the pros and cons of how other professions are regulated – at least in a statutory sense – I believe it is important the profession gives active support to robust self-regulation.
“This model – if it functions well – can provide a more flexible and voluntary route to raising standards in the public interest.
“However, such self regulation must be constantly justified as the appropriate model to have and I believe this report can play a part in ensuring this debate is both transparent and has high awareness within the profession, across the industry and with the wider public.”