Mandatory Professional Statements e.g. Conflicts of Interest, Bribery etc. Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Mandatory Professional Statements e.g. Conflicts of Interest, Bribery etc. Deck (37)
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What is a Mandatory Professional Statement?

A professional / personal standard that must be followed and sets professional, behavioural, competence or technical requirements


What are the THREE types of Conflict of Interest?

1.   Party Conflict
2.  Own Interest Conflict
3.  Confidential Information Conflict


What is a PARTY COI?

Where a member acting in the interests of a client/other party conflicts with a duty owed to another client/other party

E.G. advising both a landlord and a tenant when negotiating terms of a lease



Where a member acting in the interests of a client/other party conflicts with the own interests of the member

E.G. including a contractor on a tender list for a client
where the member has an interest in the contractor’s company i.e. family or an investment



Where a member providing information to one client
conflicts with a duty to another client to keep that same information confidential

E.G. telling one client about the feedback from a pre-app on another client’s scheme


What does the ROC recommend with COI?

Both members and firms have an obligation to avoid COI

Vital to foster trust and demonstrate professionalism

Members must record all COI and when informed consent has been obtained

Members must maintain confidentiality of confidential information


If a COI has been identified, how can a member proceed in advising a client?

Only if informed consent has been obtained from both parties

Only if the conflict will not prevent a member from providing competent and diligent advice


What is a Conflict of Interest (COI)?

Anything that impedes / might be perceived to impede an individual's / firm's ability to act impartially and in the best interest of a client

Where your ability to act in the best interest of your client could be impaired by:
- Financial Interest
- Personal Relationship
- Commercial Relationship
- Interest of your firm


What RICS documents are you aware of relating to COI?

RICS Professional Statement - Conflicts of Interest (2017) = effective in January 2018

RICS Professional Statement - Conflicts of Interest - UK Commercial Property Market Investment Agency (2017)


What does the RICS Professional Statement - Conflicts of Interest (2017) state?

This is a mandatory RICS document

PS states that RICS Members must not advise or represent a client if there is a COI (or significant risk of one), except when all parties affected or that may be
affected have given their informed consent


What does the RICS Professional Statement - Conflicts of Interest - UK Commercial Property Market Investment Agency (2017) state?

This is a mandatory RICS document

Covers Dual Agency, Multiple Introductions and Incremental Advice

Covers personal interest conflicts


How would you identify a COI?

Database checks, advisory emails to staff to enquire about any individual involvement, existing record searches, etc.

Some firms might request staff declare any personal interests in property at time of joining organisation, and to update the register on an ongoing basis

Proper consideration of business and ownership structures (such as separate legal entities, any common directors, any fee sharing, etc)

The embarrassment test – would the issue be embarrassing if reported in the news?

Continue to refer to the PS


What are the steps to dealing with a COI?

Openness and transparency = key
o Step 1: Inform parties
o Step 2: Inform parties you can’t act
o Step 3: Offer to Stand down
o Step 4: Obtain written confirmation that you can /cannot act


What is Informed Consent?

Can only be given in writing when parties have been provided with all the information relating to the conflict

Where the party affected understands what they are doing


Can informed consent always be sought by RICS members to counteract a COI?

No, only if the RICS member is confident that proceeding despite the COI is in the interest of all parties affected and is not prohibited by law


What is conflict avoidance?

Decide at this stage whether to accept or decline the instruction

When you do not accept the instruction


When writing to both parties regarding a COI, what would you say?

1. Disclose the nature and background to COI and how you plan to manage it (information barrier)

2. Request written confirmation from both clients of their informed consent for firm to act in accordance with the conflict management procedures

3. Suggest they see independent advice


What is Conflict Management?

For example, setting up an information barrier in a way agreed with both clients.


How should information barriers be operated?

Robust barrier

Surveyors must be physically separated - preferably different floors or buildings with different supper teams

Information securely stored in different folders


What is dual agency?

It is where an agent acts for the seller AND purchaser on a transaction


Are there any circumstances where an agent can act for a purchaser and a seller at the same time?

No, under no circumstances, which was ended January 2018


What is multiple introductions, are they allowed?

PS deals with multiple introductions = where an agent has competing contractual relationships simultaneously with several buyers for a commercial real estate investment opportunity

These are not outlawed by the PS but = limited by specific requirements

The TOE between client and agent must state whether the appointment is exclusive or non-exclusive

If exclusive, agent must inform any other prospective buyers that he/she has had contact with about the opportunity and that the agent may no longer advise them

If non-exclusive, informed consent must be obtained from the clients, subject to necessary information barriers in place


What is incremental advice?

Where an agent is approached by a party to provide services (e.g. surveying, valuation) related to a purchase / disposal that is ‘incremental’ to an existing instruction from another party

E.G. agent is acting for the seller in relation to a disposal but is approached separately by the buyer, or its lender, to provide a valuation


Can incremental advice be provided?

Must have information barriers in place at the firm between teams to maintain strict confidentiality;

Must first obtain informed consent from client before agreeing to provide incremental advice to another prospective buyer; and

Where agent has a sale instruction, they must notify their client before agreeing to provide incremental advice to a prospective buyer, although he does not have to obtain
informed consent from his client


What is the relevant RICS PS relating to bribery?

RICS professional standards and guidance, global
Countering bribery and corruption, money laundering
and terrorist financing 1st edition, February 2019


What is a bribe?

Persuade (someone) to act in one's favour, typically illegally or dishonestly, by a gift of money or other inducement


Are companies responsible for their employees corrupt acts?

Yes, unless they can show that they have put adequate policies and procedures in place to combat bribery


Give me some examples of the types of policies / procedures companies could put in place to combat bribery

o Staff training
o Provision of policies
o Regular reviews


What would you do if a Client offered you cash?

Don’t accept it as it could be proceeds of crime.


If you had to accept cash from a Client, what would you do?

o Check the clients bank details
o Take full name and address
o Keep records of business deal for at least 5 years