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Professional Ethics Checklist

Korean Financial Planning Professional Sunho KimBy Sunho Kim, CFP®

Financial consumer protection has come to the forefront of financial planning since the global financial crisis, caused by the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. Also, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was newly established under FRB in the USA. Likewise, in Korea, the Financial Consumer Protection Agency is going to be established as an independent organization under the Financial Supervisory Service following the public announcement of Laws Related to Financial Consumer Protection (Nov. 2011).

Recently, the G20 High-level Principles on Financial Consumer Protection were also adopted in the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting in October 2011. Countries interested in financial consumer protection as well as G20 member countries were advised to establish and implement their own policy for financial consumer protection and/or assess its results.

High-level Principles on Financial Consumer Protection

1. Legal, Regulatory, and Supervisory Framework

2. Role of Oversight Bodies

3. Equitable and Fair Treatment of Consumers

4. Disclosure and Transparency

5. Financial Education and Awareness

6. Responsible Business Conduct of Financial Services Providers and Authorized Agents

7. Protection of Consumer Assets Against Fraud and Misuse

8. Protection of Consumer Data and Privacy

9. Complaints Handling and Redress

10. Competition

CFP Code of Ethics Already Covers These Principles

Except for the tasks (items 1,2,10) that should be executed by the government and the supervisory bodies, the remaining ones are the same as those already reflected on the ethical principles and rules of conduct. For example, item 3 in the G20 principles is already reflected in the “Objectivity” and “Fairness” segments from the Code of Ethics for CFP professionals. Also, items 7 and 9 in the G20 principles are sufficiently dealt with in the Clients’ Information and Assets of the Rules of Professional Conduct (9 items of the rules of professional conduct).

Financial consumer protection, which has actively been discussed recently, is already reflected on in the Code of Ethics of CFP professionals with 40 years’ history; such reflection is attested to by the first principle of “Client First” of the Ethics Standards for CFP professionals. The core lies in the daily practice of the principles of Ethics Standards for CFP professionals and Rules of Professional Conduct.

To prepare the form of “My Professional Ethics Checklist” in the table below, check how the principles of ethics are practiced by making plans before starting your daily work, and score each item upon closing your work at the end of the day. Recording the insufficient results will show you where to improve your practice. Using this checklist on a daily basis would be alright but if would be preferable that you use the checklist for each client meeting.

My Professional Ethics Checklist

Principle of Professional Ethics

Plan

Practice

Remarks

1. Client First
2. Integrity
3. Objectivity
4. Fairness
5. Professionalism
6. Competence
7. Confidentiality
8. Diligence

Total

※    Please record the numerical values ranging from 0 to 10 points in the plan and practice columns.

Through the small form “My Professional Ethics Checklist,” we may realize the Code of Ethics of CFP professionals with top priority given to the clients. Such realization, in turn, will help gain the trust of your clients, raising the reputation of CFP designation at the same time.

Click here to download a Professional Ethics Checklist. 

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