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The general duty to act honestly and with integrity

3.1 Members are expected to demonstrate high standards of behaviour. This is reflected in the first principle of the Code, which states:

Members must act honestly and with integrity.”

Acting in an ethical and professional manner

3.2 Integrity is generally accepted as a fundamental requirement to act in an ethical and professional manner.  If someone has integrity, their actions are consistent with their beliefs, both stated and real.  They will not claim to have a certain belief and then act in a way that contradicts this, whether or not they are likely to be caught out.

Being honest and fair

3.3 Acting with integrity in a professional setting will generally mean being straightforward and honest in your professional and business relationships and dealing fairly with those around you. This expectation extends to situations in which you are promoting your business services.

Respecting others

3.4 The first amplification under the Integrity principle provides that:Members must show respect for others in the way they conduct themselves.”  The scope of this requirement extends not only to users, but to anyone with whom Members interact, including colleagues and the general public.  Amongst other things, showing ‘respect for others’ includes not deceiving or manipulating others, not taking credit for others’ work and not spreading false or defamatory information about people.  More subtly, showing respect for people includes such things as avoiding the temptation to publicly ridicule others’ ideas and giving people a fair hearing. Often, a lack of respect can be demonstrated by non-verbal communication as much as by a person’s choice of words, their tone of voice or the volume with which they speak.

3.5 In determining whether a course of conduct demonstrates a lack of respect, it is important to consider how you would feel if the behaviour in question were being directed at you instead. It is also worth remembering that the same behaviour may have a different impact on different people; what one person may find offensive may not have any effect on another. Often, people of different social and cultural backgrounds can perceive the same conduct and behaviour very differently.

Voicing opinions

3.6 Showing respect for others does not mean that Members cannot voice their opinions or disagree with others where they hold an opposing point of view. Legitimate challenge and constructive comment are to be encouraged both in a professional setting as well as in other contexts. Nor is the Code intended to impinge upon Members’ rights to free speech or to express their religious and political views. It is expected however that where disagreements do arise, Members will act with courtesy, recognising the rights of others to hold and express different ideas and opinions from them.

3.7 The IFoA promotes equality and diversity and the development of an inclusive profession that incorporates people from a range of backgrounds. Members are encouraged to behave in a way that recognises and respects diversity and different cultures.

Duties outside the actuarial profession

3.8 The Code applies to all Members’ other conduct if that conduct could reasonably be considered to reflect upon the profession”.  This means that conduct outside of a Member’s actuarial professional life that demonstrates a lack of respect towards others will be caught by the Code, but only to the extent that it may have an impact upon the reputation of the actuarial profession as a whole. In a personal context therefore, not all behaviour that demonstrates a lack of respect will be caught by the Code.  Members are expected to use reasonable judgment in determining what behaviour is appropriate.


The duty of confidentiality

3.9 Users and the general public are entitled to expect that sensitive information will not be misused, treated carelessly or, other than in exceptional circumstances, be shared without permission.  This is reflected in the second amplification under the Integrity principle which provides that: Members should respect confidentiality.”

3.10 Confidential information to which a Member may have access includes personal data about third parties such as insurance or pension policy holders.  It may also include communications from clients, such as emails, and some commercially sensitive information relating to businesses with which the Member interacts.  Sometimes confidential information will not be labelled as such, and Members will need to exercise judgment as to whether there is a reasonable expectation that information should be considered confidential. 

3.11 Information which is already lawfully in the public domain is not ordinarily confidential. 

When confidential information may rightly be disclosed

3.12 The duty of confidentiality, while important, is not absolute. Information can be disclosed in certain circumstances where disclosure is required by law, or is permitted by law, and can be justified in the public interest.  The IFoA recognises that certain situations will arise in which legal or other requirements will override a Member’s duty of confidentiality.  That is why the specific amplification dealing with confidentiality has been drafted as a ‘should’ provision, rather than a ‘must’.  Indeed, the ‘Speaking up’ principle of the Code may require confidential information to be disclosed under certain circumstances – in such situations Members need to carefully consider the extent and manner of disclosure necessary and avoid disclosing more than is necessary to fulfil their obligations.

3.13 A number of statutes empower government and other bodies, for example HM Revenue and Customs in the UK, to require any person to disclose documents and/or information.  This might be, for example, in situations where confidential information indicates criminal wrongdoing.  In the absence of a user’s specific consent, it would be prudent to check under which statutory power the information is being sought and consider the relevant provisions carefully before proceeding with the disclosure.

3.14 Disclosures which are permitted by law, and justified in the public interest, might include situations in which criminal or unethical conduct is indicated, but where there is no legal requirement to disclose, or where disclosure is necessary for the purposes of reporting a serious impropriety to a relevant regulatory body. 


Guidance on duty of confidentiality in relation to duty of disclosure and avoidance of conflicts of interest

3.15 Further guidance on the interaction between the duties of confidentiality and disclosure is set out in Section 7 of this Guidance.  Guidance on the duty of confidentiality, as it relates to conflicts of interest, can be found in Section 5 of this Guidance. 

The duty of confidentiality is a difficult area; therefore, you might want to take legal advice on these issues.

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Events calendar

  • Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020

    The Grand Brighton, 97-99 Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2FW
    02-03 June 2020
    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19 we have taken the decision to turn a selection of the conference programme into a webinar series. Further announcements about this event will be made soon.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

  • Mortality and Longevity 2020

    1 Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London SW1H 9JJ
    08-08 June 2020
    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19 this event has been postponed until later in the year. A new date will be announced soon.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

  • PHC Conference webinar: CMI Update

    Online webinar
    10 June 2020

    Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    An update from the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) with content focused on the work of the Assurances Committee and the Income Protection Committee.

  • Webinar: IFoA Annual General Meeting

    Virtual meeting
    15 June 2020

    Spaces available

    Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries will be held online via a live webinar on Monday 15 June 2020. This will be followed by a Q&A session with the IFoA Leadership Team.

  • Spaces available

    Mark Williams will provide insight on this topic as IFoA Pensions Board Chair, lead actuarial representative on the PASA Working Group and head of Buck’s Square solution.

  • Pensions Conference 2020

    Worldwide
    18-19 June 2020
    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19, we are running this programme via a series of webinars commencing 16 June.

    Focussing on topics including funding and savings, pension law current issues, ESG, the end game and transferring risk, investment issues, data visualisation and data science. Expect a great line-up of speakers and a wide range of thought-provoking topics. 

  • Webinar: IFoA Presidential Address

    Online webinar
    18 June 2020

    Spaces available

    Tan Suee Chieh will be inaugurated as President of the IFoA at this year’s AGM. Join us for Suee Chieh’s Presidential address on Uncertainty, Culture and Imagination. Using the Covid-19 crisis as the backdrop, he will invite IFoA and the profession to re-imagine our roles in a digital age and a future fraught with uncertainty and opportunity.

  • TIGI 2020 (Technical Issues in General Insurance)

    Webinars
    22 June 2020 - 7 July 2020

    Spaces available

    Technical Issues in General Insurance provides content across all key areas of the general insurance sector whilst also offering cross-practice area technical topic deep-dives.

  • Spaces available

    This is the third webinar in the Extreme Mortality Events series presented by Chair of the Life Board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Colin Dutkiewicz.

    This discussion will have a look at the much talked about R0 number.  It will dissect why this average number is so poorly understood, and why it is a bad indicator of the pandemic progression.  In particular it will discuss how serious errors in decision making can be made by relying on this number.

     

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    In this session we will present the results of an international survey of claims assessors. We will explore key similarities and differences in claims practices in different locations, and their impact on the management of disability claims. 

  • Spaces available

    Climate change represents a material risk to future financial stability and creates implications for the work, actions and decision making of actuaries. Join us to learn about the science behind global warming and what that means for policy makers and society over the coming decades.

  • Spaces available

    The release of the PRA consultation paper may signal a good time for insurers to review and update their liquidity risk management framework. Within this presentation we discuss our interpretation of what the PRA’s liquidity consultation paper means for insurers and how this compares to our understanding of current market practice through answering the following questions: 

  • Spaces available

    Converting lifetime savings into a lifelong income are a fundamental part of pensions. Yet this is often not part of DC pension plans. One possibility is to offer a post-retirement, pooled annuity option, perhaps structured as a Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) plan, to retirees.  Pooled annuities convert lump-sum savings to a life annuity by collectively pooling longevity risk.

  • Spaces available

    Although ESG has many buyers across the asset allocation community, from pension funds to sovereign wealth funds, it still hasn’t found its place within the core asset management strategy desks where the money is actually invested. The problem as well as the opportunity is Fixed Income.

  • Spaces available

    Technical Issues in General Insurance

    The presentation will cover a summary of findings over the past few years of working on the boundary between data science and actuarial. The webinar will describe and review several data science approaches and discuss their relevance and use in actuarial pricing.

  • Spaces available

    A practical and theoretical look at risk from wider perspectives, drawing on theories and examples from other fields, as well as social experiments, the session aims to stimulate members to consider information asymmetry, bias, Bayesian methods, behavioural finance and behavioural psychology when determining pension scheme risk. 

  • Spaces available

    This talk expands on recent changes to Solvency II regulation to include sustainability risks and explores whether private equity offers an opportunity for making l long-term and impactful investments. 
    We will answer the following questions: 

    How sustainable private equity could be used in your portfolio to qualify for more favourable capital treatment under Solvency II?

  • Spaces available

    Technical Issues in General Insurance

    Across the General Insurance market actuarial pricing tools are being migrated from Excel to web-based technologies. Web based pricing technology offers many synergies with AI and Machine Learning. But they are often hampered by poor design and practically always perform worse than their Excel counterparts!

    The following will be presented: 

  • Spaces available

    In this talk we cover the practicalities of implementing ESG within real asset investment decisions. Capital deployed in real assets is invested for a long term and has far reaching impact on the environment and society.  However, implementing ESG into real asset investment decisions is not straightforward and requires a different approach to public market assets.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    This webinar will provide an overview of how and why we built a Death Toolbox using Shiny.  This includes a live demonstration of the tool that enables a user to explore mortality datasets without knowing specialist coding techniques.

  • Spaces available

    An update from the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI). Content will focus on the work of the Self-administered Pensions Schemes (SAPS) Mortality Committee and the Mortality Projections Committee and will cover the most relevant and up-to-date outputs.

  • Spaces available

    The PPF’s Purple Book provides the most comprehensive data on the UK universe of Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes in the private sector.  Analysing how this landscape has changed over time shows that whilst the risk profile of DB schemes has reduced underfunding has persisted.  The session will explore these trends and provide an insight into how funding may evolve in the future under a number of our modelled scenarios.   

  • Spaces available

    An online webinar delivered by John Taylor, President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries who will look at the prospects for the actuarial profession in the era of unprecedented technological innovation.

  • Spaces available

    Climate change risks are likely to become material for many risk management and investment decisions. This will require to incorporate explicitly climate change in the tools used for risk management and investment decisions. At present existing climate change tools are often too crude for decision making.

  • Spaces available

    Because of Covid-19, forecasters predict a severe recession in 2020, followed by a V or U-shaped recovery. This impacts both individuals and companies. However, compared to previous recessions, the impact on banks of higher credit losses should be mitigated to some extent by government actions. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    This session will provide an overview of the Population Health Management Working Party's research including defining impactability and impactability modelling, discussing some examples of specific modelling approaches, considering the practical challenges across the NHS as well as wider public perception and ethical issues.

  • Spaces available

    Many actuaries consider career opportunities in the Finance and Investment practice area after having started off in more traditional actuarial roles such as valuations, capital management or pricing. This session is aimed at helping actuaries to better understand roles in Finance and Investment and how they can fine tune their skills to pursue such careers.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    With the rising prevalence of dementia, how can we manage this risk effectively and can insurance do more? Matt Singleton, Ageing Lead at Swiss Re, will cover these topics and demonstrate how insurance could help people address their concerns.

  • PHC Conference webinar: Gene Modification

    Online webinar
    6 August 2020

    Spaces available

    Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Gen Re Life/Health Research and Development, Dr John O'Brien, will discuss the impacts of Gene Modification for life/health insurance. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. Modelling the structure and trends of cancer morbidity risk is important for pricing and reserving in related health insurance fields such as critical illness insurance and care provision. We model the dynamics of cancer incidence over time in different regions in England, using 1981-2016 ONS data. The modelling allows estimation of cancer rates at various age, year, gender and region levels, following a Bayesian setting to account for statistical uncertainty. Our analysis indicates significant regional variation in cancer incidence rates. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. In this talk we will outline the steps Aviva took in pulling together our first large-scale disclosures on the exposure of our business to climate change published in March 2019; in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. After touching on why insurers have such an important role in climate change, we'll cover a brief “how-to” guide for those who have not yet embarked on thinking about these topics before giving a case study of how the learnings from a TCFD disclosure exercise can be applied to investment portfolios.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. 

    The insurance industry currently underwrites customers with diabetes based on a range of factors, medical expertise and various medical studies. The work undertaken by the Diabetes Working Party would help the industry to approach this using current research findings to update and enhance how potential risk from diabetes is considered. This includes the need to understand the underwriting implications as treatments improve, and potentially to develop new products that are tailored to those with diabetes. This webinar will present our latest findings in the management of this important chronic condition which will include research in collaboration with the ARC.