The Statement of Principles were first announced in April 2015 inviting IA members to become signatories and to publish statements on their websites from 1 January 2016 explaining how they apply the principles within their businesses.
On 3 August 2015, the Investment Association published an update which included a list of 25 members who were initial signatories to the Principles. On 11 December, we recognised that there needed to be a further discussion concerning the level of prescription and indeed the very assumption that all members should express their values precisely as the Investment Association had set out.
While members were supportive of the principles themselves, a number had expressed concern that the reporting requirement aspect imposed an additional compliance burden, while the purpose of the project had always been to demonstrate to investors the values we hold as an industry.
During this discussion period, the Investment Association did not maintain a list of signatories and there was no requirement for member firms to publish statements on their websites. We have now decided not to re-introduce the list of signatories nor the requirement to publish statements.
Whilst many members have informed us that they are comfortable with the values embraced in the Statement of Principles, it is also clear that the prescriptive formulation may not be the precise way in which individual firms want to express their values to existing and prospective clients. Even where regulatory obligations across the globe may aim for the same common objectives, they are often expressed in different ways within differing legal and business contexts. Indeed we have long supported as good outcomes, those regulations that allow our members to distinguish themselves, both one from the other and also by raising above any prevailing standards of the day.
In similar fashion, the Investment Association recognises there are other ways, at least as valid and informative, to describe the core responsibilities of fiduciary asset managers. Indeed, amongst many other provisions, the FCA’s rulebook requires that an asset manager must act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interests of its client.
This finalisation of the Statement of Principles as a publication on the Investment Association's website offers a useful framework for firms when reviewing their values.
Accordingly, members are welcome to continue to refer to commitment to or support for the Statement of Principles, as they are set out below. It is a matter for those firms how they satisfy themselves that they can make such a statement.
26 August 2016
Statement of Principles