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IFoA Issues Professionalism Challenge to Financial Services Sector

Last night the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) launched its Professionalism Lecture Series 2017, with a lecture on professionalism and whistleblowing delivered to a packed room of financial services professionals.

The lecture, entitled ‘Blowing the whistle' on Professional Regulation - Staying Relevant in a Changing and Challenging Environment, was delivered by Ben Kemp, General Counsel of the IFoA, and Dimitrios Kagiaros of Edinburgh Law School – University of Edinburgh. It was chaired by Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, also of Edinburgh Law School.

It covered a number of themes, including whistleblowing and disclosure, integrity and enforcement, organisational culture, and regulatory fairness and relevance. It concluded that financial services professionals must be bold in upholding, rigorously, but fairly, professional standards and values. Mr Kemp also stated that the industry must speak out, individually and collectively, when it sees those standards not being observed.

Speaking after the event, Dr Kagiaros said:

“Actuaries are leading the way in promoting professionalism in the financial services industry. Lectures such as this evening’s are crucial in reinforcing the importance of professional standards and their effective regulation.”

Mr Ghaleigh said:

“Financial services make a huge contribution to the UK economy, and standards of professionalism are key to maintaining a robust and trustworthy financial sector. The IFoA recognises this fact, and I encourage other professional bodies to engage with the issues, and ensure that professional culture is at the heart of their ‘business as usual’.”

The lecture is the first to take place in the UK in a series on the theme of professionalism that will take place throughout 2017, both in the UK and across the globe. They will cover a plethora of professionalism-related subjects, and will be delivered by a diverse group of expert speakers representing academia, regulators and businesses.

The IFoA is challenging other industry bodies, regulators and businesses to join the debate on professionalism across the financial services world. It wants to see more engagement on sharing best practice, and believes that collaboration is the key to maintaining the highest of standards across the sector.

The IFoA is the regulatory body for the actuarial profession in the UK and beyond. Actuaries adhere to the Actuaries’ code, and have access to innovative and relevant professional training materials, which each year are used by thousands of actuaries across the globe. Additionally, the Institute and Faculty’s Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) makes it the industry leader in ensuring quality of work and maintenance of standards.

Colin Wilson, President of the IFoA said:

“The IFoA leads the way in promoting professionalism in the actuarial profession and beyond. I am proud of the record of the IFoA in promoting best practice amongst its members, and of the oversight it provides. It is my hope that the professionalism lecture series will contribute to maintaining our high standards amongst actuaries, and act as an example of innovation in professional culture across the financial services world.”

Ben Kemp, General Counsel of the IFoA said:

“There are challenges to all professions, but I believe the value and importance of standards and ethics in the world of financial services has never been greater.  As a professional body, operating in the public interest within a global context, the IFoA is delighted to launch our Professionalism Lecture Series 2017.  Over the coming months we will have the privilege of hearing from a number of expert speakers illuminating the key concepts and issues in relations to professionalism in financial services. We invite other regulators, business associations, professional bodies, employers and employees to join the debate.” 

The next lecture will be taking place on the 27th March in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For further information on the lecture series, please contact regulation@actuaries.org.uk.

To contribute to the debate on professionalism, share best practice or discover more about the IFoA’s standards, please contact public.affairs@actuaries.org.uk.

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