FMSB issues new Statement of Good Practice on Conflicts of Interest

London, 20 June 2019 – The FICC Markets Standards Board (“FMSB”) today publishes a Transparency Draft of a new Statement of Good Practice on Conflicts of Interest.

The primary aim of this Statement of Good Practice is to provide guidance for FICC market participants as they consider ways in which to identify, prevent, manage or mitigate conflicts of interest that arise both: (i) specifically in connection with their FICC markets business; and (ii) more generally across their firm.

The document covers an important area for FMSB and divides conflicts of interest into three broad categories:

  1. Client versus Client – for example, different clients placing competing orders to deal in the same instrument;
  2. Firm versus Client – for example, a business area holding a risk position in connection with market-making activities, while another business area is advising investors with respect to an inverse economic position; and
  3. Employee versus Firm or Employee versus Client – for example, giving or receiving gifts or entertainment which may potentially impact the individual’s behaviour.

There are eight Good Practice Statements which firms should look to when considering their own practice in this area, including:

  • Having the necessary policies, procedures and training in place across a firm;
  • Having senior management provide oversight and governance around how conflicts of interest are identified and managed; and
  • Having controls in place to either prevent conflicts of interest from arising, as well as managing or mitigating those that do arise.

Mark Yallop, Chair of FMSB said: “In wholesale markets there are inherent conflicts of interest in the way firms operate – a firm’s interests in price movements may conflict with those of their clients, opening the way for possible misconduct. This Statement of Good Practice therefore covers a vitally important area in the work that FMSB is doing to improve conduct and raise standards across wholesale markets. That is why it is critical for firms to have robust policies and procedures in place which can identify, address and deal with any conflicts of interest that may arise.”

FMSB members and other interested parties are invited to comment on the proposed Statement of Good Practice before it is finalised by FMSB. This consultation will run until 6 September 2019 with the final document expected to be published shortly thereafter.

This is the ninth Statement of Good Practice to have been published by FMSB since it was set up in 2015 in response to the Fair and Effective Markets Review in the UK with a mandate to improve conduct and raise standards in the wholesale Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities markets.

All materials published by FMSB are available at www.fmsb.com.

Media contacts

Maitland

Andy Donald / Sam Turvey

+44 207 379 5151

adonald@maitland.co.uk

sturvey@maitland.co.uk

 

Notes to Editors

1) The Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities (“FICC”) Markets Standards Board (“FMSB”) is an independent body set up by market practitioners to improve standards of conduct in wholesale FICC markets. It aims to bring transparency to grey areas in the wholesale FICC markets by identifying emerging vulnerabilities, clarifying and documenting practice and agreeing standards to improve conduct and market behaviour. Ensuring that wholesale FICC markets are transparent, fair and effective is at the heart of the FMSB’s mission.

2) Setting up the FMSB was one of the main recommendations to emerge from the Fair and Effective Markets Review, which was conducted by HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority.

3) The FMSB has a Board drawn from senior executives from across wholesale markets, from corporate clients, asset managers, sell side participants and intermediaries and infrastructure providers such as exchanges and custodians. Reporting to the Standards Board are standing sub-committees addressing Market Practices, Codes & Standards Convergence, Conduct & Ethics and Electronic Trading and Technology. The Market Practices sub-committees are split into 4 asset-class specific committees. There is also an Advisory Council representing the interests of member firms.

 

4) The FMSB’s members bring together sell-side investment banks, buyside asset managers, market infrastructure providers and exchanges, custodians and users of the market such as corporates. This constitution is unique. The member firms are:

  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
  • BAE Systems
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Barclays
  • BHP
  • BlackRock
  • Bloomberg
  • BNP Paribas
  • BNY Mellon
  • BP
  • Citadel Securities
  • Citigroup Global Markets Limited
  • Crédit Agricole CIB
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Euronext FX Inc.
  • Goldman Sachs
  • HSBC
  • Invesco
  • P. Morgan
  • Legal & General Investment Management
  • Linklaters (Legal Advisor)
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • London Stock Exchange Group
  • M&G Investments
  • MarketAxess
  • Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc
  • National Australia Bank
  • NEX Group PLC
  • Nomura
  • RBS
  • Refinitiv
  • Rio Tinto
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Royal Mail Group
  • Société Générale
  • Standard Chartered
  • Standard Life Aberdeen
  • TP ICAP
  • Tradeweb
  • Tradition
  • UBS
  • Vodafone
  • XTX Markets