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General Code of Conduct and F&P requirements Amendments – Major changes will need your serious consideration

In a note to Moonstone compliance officers, Billy Seyffert, COO of Moonstone Compliance and Legal notes: “These are some of the most important changes since the 2017 F&P changes.”

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has published the final amendments to the General and Short-term Deposit Codes of Conduct as well as Fit and Proper requirements under the FAIS Act. According to the FSCA the amendments are necessary to contribute to the fulfilment of their legislated objectives and is ultimately intended to promote the fair treatment and protection of financial customers. “Many of the amendments emanated from policy processes that started as far back as 2014, such as the Retail Distribution Review,” the FSCA advised.

Some of the changes include:

Changes to advertising guidelines
Changes to advice record templates including replacements
The complaints management framework
Conflict of Interest management policies in terms of financial interests
Impact on direct marketers
The associate relationships in respect of reference to the term ”independent”.

The following documents were published on Friday, 26 June 2020:

the Amendment of the General Code of Conduct for Authorised Financial Services Providers and Representatives, 2003 (GCOC) and the Specific Code of Conduct for Authorised Financial Services Providers and Representatives conducting Short-term Deposit business, 2004 (ST Deposit Code)
a statement of the need, expected impact and intended operation of the draft amendments to the GCOC and ST Deposit Code in terms of section 98 of the Financial Sector Regulation Act;
a Consultation Report on the draft amendments to the GCOC and ST Deposit Code in terms of section 104(1) of the Financial Sector Regulation Act;
the Amendment of the Determination of Fit and Proper Requirements (F&P Requirements);
a statement of the need, expected impact and intended operation of the amendments to the F&P Requirements in terms of section 98 of the Financial Sector Regulation Act; and
a Consultation Report on the draft amendments to the F&P Requirements in terms of section 104(1) of the Financial Sector Regulation Act.

According to the Amendment documentation, some are effective 26 June 2020, whilst some changes are effective 26 December 2020 and others effective 26 June 2021. It is very important that readers should note these dates carefully.

Click here to read the FSCA’s media release published earlier today.

Some of the changes will also be unpacked in future Moonstone articles

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