Financial Spreads - Conflicts of Interest Policy
Financial Spreads is a trading name of Clear Investor Ltd which is an appointed representative of Finsa Europe Limited. Finsa Europe Limited is a company registered in England and Wales ("Financial Spreads
") and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA
") with firm number 525164.
We aim to identify and prevent any conflicts of interest which may occur between us and our clients, or between one client and another, to avoid possible adverse effects which may arise.
This policy applies to all directors (executive and non-executive), officers, employees and consultants of Financial Spreads and refers to dealings with all of our clients.
The FCA has detailed requirements relating to the management of conflicts of interest, which are primarily found in the FCA Senior Management Arrangements Systems and Controls sourcebook, section 10.
Our requirements as a firm under these include:
- Establishing, implementing and managing an effective written conflicts of interest policy.
- Taking all reasonable steps to identify conflicts of interest between us and our clients.
- Keeping and updating a record of the services we undertake, in which a conflict of interest entails a material risk of damage to the interests of one or more of our clients, which has arisen or may arise.
We have identified the types of conflicts that may occur and which carry a material risk of damage to the interests of a client. These include, but are not limited to, when we or any person directly or indirectly linked to us:
- Have an interest in the outcome of a service or product provided to, or of a transaction carried out on behalf of our client, which is distinct from our clients' interest in that outcome.
- Design, market or recommend a product or service without properly considering all of our other similar products and services and the interests of our clients.
- Are likely to make a financial gain or reduce/avoid a financial loss at the expense of our client.
- Receive or will receive from a person other than our client an inducement in relation to the service provided to our client in the form of monies, goods or services, other than the standard commission or fee for that service.
- Have a financial or other incentive to favour the interests of another client or group of clients over the interests of our client.
We have implemented the systems and procedures referred to below, to minimize the potential causes for conflicts of interest, to manage all conflicts of interest and where possible avoid material conflicts of interest.
RELATED CORPORATE PARTIES
- Personal Account Dealing
All Personnel are bound by the requirements of our Personal Account Dealing Notice. All transactions undertaken are actively monitored by our Compliance Department.
- Data Access
The access to data on computer drives is restricted by the use of passwords and user IDs. Computers are automatically locked if unattended for a short period. Personnel are regularly reminded of the importance of data protection.
- Information Release
Staff may not release and or disclose information to another party without ensuring that there is a clear need to know basis for the recipient and that they are made aware of the requirement to treat the information as confidential.
- External Business Interests
Staff may not engage (unless granted prior written consent from our senior management or permitted under the terms of their employment) or have an interest in any business which is or may be in competition with us and or which would involve the use of our time, property, facilities or resources.
- Segregation of Duties
Employment duties are designed to limit the potential for conflicts of interest. Given the nature of our business there can be occasions which could give rise to a conflict, in these circumstances additional controls are in place to identify inappropriate behaviour. All Personnel are regularly assessed for competency in their roles and are required to follow the internal procedures detailed in our Compliance Manual.
As part of the Compliance Department's duties, they undertake regular reviews of each department's operations, the roles undertaken by the individuals within that department and the segregation of duties are reviewed as appropriate.
Regular training is provided to our staff on conflicts of interest and the procedures for managing conflicts of interest.
- Independence Policy
Situations may arise where it is appropriate to manage conflicts of interest by requiring personnel to adhere to and observe a policy of independence. If this arises, staff (or applicable members thereof) will be required to sign an undertaking to disregard relevant conflicts of interest in discharging their functions.
- Disclosure Policy
We believe that our internal policies and procedures, systems and controls, generally mitigate the risk of any conflict of interest arising, either between us and our client or between two or more of our clients. However, where despite this, the potential for conflict arises and cannot be avoided we would either make a full disclosure or not proceed with the transaction.
- Public Interest Disclosure Policy
We are committed to ensuring that malpractice is prevented and should it arise is dealt with immediately. Staff are informed as to whom they can and should report public interest issues.
The United Kingdom Public Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) allows employees to disclose certain issues to particular external parties where there is good reason to believe that internal disclosure will not be taken seriously or will cause the employee to be penalised in some way
For the purposes of this procedure and PIDA, the following constitute malpractice;
- The commission of a legal offence;
- Failure to comply with a legal obligation;
- The occurrence of a miscarriage of justice;
- The endangerment of an individual's health and safety;
- The endangerment of the environment; and,
- The concealment of any information relating to any of the above.
- Gifts and Inducements
Staff may not solicit or accept any gift of inducement which may influence their independence or business judgement or which could create a conflict with any duty owed to us or our clients.
This restriction does not include any special promotions which have been agreed by our senior management, nor does it cover corporate gifts and hospitality which are considered to be incidental to our standard business.
Staff are required to register with the Compliance Department details of hospitality of gifts, whether given or received with an estimated value in excess of £200 and to seek guidance if in doubt about the suitability of the gift.
As part of our business model and regulatory structuring, we utilise the services of one or more related corporate parties in order to provide a diverse range of financial services to a broad range of clients and counterparties and circumstances may arise in which we or our group companies (as defined in s 474 of the Companies Act 2006) may have a material interest in a transaction with or for you or where a conflict of interest may arise between your interests and those of other clients or counterparties of ourselves or our Group.
OTHER COMMERCIAL PARTNERS
As part of our business model we provide similar business to business financial services of those offered by Financial Spreads to its clients to the clients of other of our commercial partners other than Financial Spreads. These financial services offered may be conflict with those of Financial Spreads clients, although we do not normally envision that this would in effect mean anything other than ordinary merchant competition in the marketplace for financial services. Should we perceive any disclosable conflict in this regard we would specify this and update this policy.