The FCA has published an updated conflicts of interest policy to ensure its own staff remain free of “improper influence”.
The regulator has outlined a set of guidelines over the acceptance of gifts and hospitality and how potential conflicts should be disclosed.
The FCA says staff should never leave themselves open to improper influence, or be perceived to be open to it, by accepting gifts and hospitality.
Staff should alert managers to any actual or potential conflict of interests “on appointment, as and when they arise throughout the year, as well as during the annual attestation process”.
The FCA encourages staff to “be open about the relationships and personal interests that could be seen as influencing your independent judgment”.
The regulator adds that staff should “exercise caution” in managing their finances and not seek to profit or avoid loss by using information gained at work.
The policy document reads: “Integrity is a principle of public life and is one of our core values. Our reputation for impartiality and independence is vital to our effectiveness and the public interest.
“We must be objective in our decision-making, and our personal interests should never influence our decisions at work.”