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Introduction

The Rules of Conduct are specific standards that shall apply to all classifications of membership, unless otherwise stated. Every member shall adhere to the rules set out in this Article in their professional activities and conduct, and the FPSB India may enforce the observation of the following rules;

 

S. No.

Rules of Conduct

Rule Numbers

1

Rules that Relate to the Code of Ethic of Client First Rule 101 - 102

2

Rules that Relate to the Code of Ethic of Integrity Rule 201 - 203

3

Rules that Relate to the Code of Ethic of Objectivity Rule 301 - 308

4

Rules that Relate to the Code of Ethic of Competence Rule 401 - 403

5

Rules that Relate to the Code of Ethic of Fairness Rule 501 - 513

6

Rules that Relate to the Code of Ethic of Confidentiality Rule 601 - 606

7

Rules that Relate to the Code of Ethic of Professionalism Rule 701 - 715

8

Rules that Relate to the Code of Ethic of Diligence Rule 801 - 811

 

CLIENT FIRST – Rules that relate to the Principle of Client First

Rule 101

A CFPCM Certificant shall at all times place the interest of the client first.

Rule 102

The CFPCM Certificant shall at all times place the interest of the client’s first, followed by the best interest of employer or organization while rendering professional advice.

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INTEGRITY – Rules that relate to the Principle of Integrity

Rule 201

A CFPCM Certificant shall not solicit clients through false or misleading communications or advertisements:

(a) Misleading Advertising: A CFPCM Certificant shall not make a false or misleading communication about the size, scope or areas of competence of the CFPCM Certificant’s practice or of any organization with which the CFPCM Certificant is associated; and

(b) Promotional Activities: In promotional activities, a CFPCM Certificant shall not make materially false or misleading communications orally or in writing to the public or create unjustified expectations regarding matters relating to financial planning or the professional activities and competence of the CFPCM Certificant or of any organization. The term “promotional activities” includes, but is not limited to, speeches, interviews, books, printed or electronic publications, seminars, radio and television shows, and video cassettes; and

(c) Representation of Authority: A CFPCM Certificant shall not give the impression that one is representing the views of an individual or particular group unless the CFPCM Certificant has been authorized to do so. Personal opinions shall be clearly identified as such.

Rule 202

In the course of professional and business activities, a CFPCM Certificant shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, or knowingly make a false or misleading statement to a client, employer, employee, professional colleague, governmental or other regulatory body or official, or any other person or entity.

Rule 203

A CFPCM Certificant has the following responsibilities regarding funds and/or other property of clients:

(a) In exercising custody of or discretionary authority over client funds or other property, a CFPCM Certificant shall act only in accordance with the authority set forth in the governing legal instrument (e.g., special power of attorney, trust, letters testamentary, etc.); and

(b) A CFPCM Certificant shall identify and keep complete records of all funds or other property of a client in the custody of or under the discretionary authority of the CFPCM Certificant; and

(c) Upon receiving funds or other property of a client, a CFPCM Certificant shall promptly or as otherwise permitted by law or provided by agreement with the client, deliver to the client or third party any funds or other property which the client or third party is entitled to receive and, upon request by the client, render a full accounting regarding such funds or other property; and

(d) A CFPCM Certificant shall not commingle client funds or other property with a CFPCM Certificant’s personal funds and/ or other property or the funds and/or other property of a CFPCM Certificant’s firm. Commingling one or more client’s funds or other property together is permitted, subject to compliance with applicable legal requirements and provided accurate records are maintained for each client’s funds or other property; and

(e) A CFPCM Certificant, who takes custody of all or any part of a client’s assets for investment purposes, shall do so with the care required of a fiduciary.

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OBJECTIVITY – Rules that relate to the Principle of Objectivity

Rule 301

A CFPCM Certificant shall not mislead or omit any financial records or material or fact while rendering professional advice for self interest.

Rule 302

At the earliest point in the relationship, a CFPCM Certificant shall disclose in writing to the client if the CFPCM Certificant is only authorized to sell or advise on a restricted range of products, and any other limitation of their capacity to serve the client.

Rule 303

In the provision of any written recommendation contained in a financial plan, a financial planning practitioner shall make timely written disclosure of all material information prior to entering into a professional relationship. Disclosures that include the following information are considered to be in compliance with this Rule:

(a) An accurate and understandable statement of compensation, which in detail discloses the source(s) and any contingencies or other aspects material to the fee and/or commission arrangement. Any pecuniary or non-pecuniary benefit whether direct or indirect, received or receivable by the CFPCM Certificant, the CFPCM Certificant’s firm, or an associate in connection with the financial planning service should be fully disclosed, any other costs borne by the client should they accept all or part of the recommendation. The disclosures of the particulars may be made either in percentage terms or in monetary terms and any estimates made shall be clearly identified as such and shall be based on reasonable assumptions. Referral fees, if any, shall be fully disclosed; and

(b) A statement describing the nature and extent of any significant financial relationships or connections a CFPCM Certificant has with product suppliers and the fees or commissions resulting from such relationships; and

(c) Any information that the client might reasonably want to know in establishing the scope and nature of the relationship, including, but not limited to information about the CFP professional’s areas of expertise; and

(d) A general summary of likely conflicts of interest between the client and the CFP professional, the CFP professional’s employer or any affiliates or third parties, including, but not limited to, information about any familial, contractual or agency relationship of the CFP professional or the CFP professional’s employer that has a potential to materially affect the relationship with the client;

(e) Contact information for the CFP professional and, if applicable, the CFP professional’s employer.

Rule 304

If financial planning services are provided orally, a CFPCM Certificant must disclose orally to the client the particulars described in Rule 303.

Rule 305

Should conflict(s) of interest(s) develop after a professional relationship has been commenced, a CFPCM Certificant shall promptly disclose in writing the conflict(s) of interest(s) to the client. The CFPCM Certificant must be able to demonstrate that the client was made aware of any actual or potential conflict of interest.

Rule 306

In addition to the disclosure by financial planning practitioners regarding sources of compensation required under Rule 303, such disclosure shall be made annually thereafter for ongoing clients. The annual disclosure requirement may be satisfied by offering to provide clients with the disclosure called for by Rule 303.

Rule 307

A CFP professional shall not borrow money from a client. This Rule does not apply when:

(a) The client is a member of the CFP professional’s immediate family;

(b) The client is an institution in the business of lending money and the borrowing is unrelated to the professional services performed by the CFP professional.

Rule 308

A CFP professional shall not lend money to a client. This Rule does not apply when:

(a) The client is a member of the CFP professional’s immediate family;

(b) The CFP professional is an employee of an institution in the business of lending money and the money lent is that of the institution, not the CFP professional.

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COMPETENCE – Rules that relate to the Principle of Competence

Rule 401

A CFPCM Certificant shall be updated of developments in its areas of specialisation and participate in continuing education throughout the professional career to improve professional competence. As a distinct part of this requirement, a CFPCM Certificant shall satisfy all continuing professional development requirements established for CFPCM Certificants by FPSB India from time to time.

Rule 402

A CFPCM Certificant shall offer advice only in those areas in which the CFPCM Certificant has competence. In areas where the CFPCM Certificant is not professionally competent, the CFPCM Certificant shall seek the counsel of qualified individuals and/or refer clients to such professionals.

Rule 403

A CFPCM Certificant shall have reasonable and appropriate standards for the appointment of Representatives.

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FAIRNESS – Rules that relate to the Principle of Fairness

Rule 501

In rendering professional services, a CFPCM Certificant shall ensure that prospective clients are clearly informed in writing about:

(a) The identity of the Company responsible for the advice and, if the advice is provided through a Representative, the identity of the Representative;

(b) The nature of services offered;

(c) The information required by all laws applicable to the relationship in a manner complying with such laws;

(d) Access to internal and external complaint handling mechanisms.

Rule 502

A CFPCM Certificant’s compensation shall be fair and reasonable on the basis of level of competency and recognition.

Rule 503

Prior to establishing a client relationship, and consistent with the confidentiality requirements of Rule 601, a CFPCM Certificant may provide references which may include recommendations from present and/or former clients.

Rule 504

A CFPCM Certificant shall clearly disclose to all prospective clients the capacity in which they are able to provide financial planning services.

Rule 505

Whether a CFPCM Certificant is employed by a financial planning firm, an investment institution, or serves as an agent for such an organization, or is self-employed, all CFPCM Certificants shall adhere to the same standards of disclosure and service.

Rule 506

Ensure supervision and consistency in the level of services being procured from other subject matter experts or professionals.

Rule 507

A CFPCM Certificant shall:

(a) Advise the CFPCM Certificant’s employer of outside affiliations which reasonably may compromise service to an employer; and

(b) Provide timely notice to the employer and clients, unless precluded by contractual obligation, in the event of change of employment or FPSB India licensing status.

Rule 508

A CFPCM Certificant doing business as a partner or principal of a financial services firm owes to the CFPCM Certificant’s partners or co-owners a responsibility to act in good faith. This includes, but is not limited to, disclosure of relevant and material financial information while in business together.

Rule 509

A CFPCM Certificant shall join a financial planning firm as a partner or principal only on the basis of mutual disclosure of relevant and material information regarding credentials, competence, experience, licensing and/or legal status, and financial stability of the parties involved.

Rule 510

A CFPCM Certificant who is a partner or co-owner of a financial services firm who elects to withdraw from the firm shall do so in compliance with any applicable agreement, and shall deal with his or her business interest in a fair and equitable manner.

Rule 511

A CFPCM Certificant shall inform his or her employer, partners or co-owners of compensation or other benefit arrangements in connection with his or her services to clients, which are in addition to compensation from the employer, partners or co-owners for such services.

Rule 512

If a CFPCM Certificant enters into a business transaction with a client, the transaction shall be on terms that are fair and reasonable to the client.

Rule 513

A CFPCM Certificant shall clearly identify with the client the assets, if any, over which the CFPCM Certificant will take custody, exercise investment discretion, or exercise supervision.

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CONFIDENTIALTY – Rules that relate to the Principle of Confidentiality

Rule 601

A CFPCM Certificant shall not reveal - or use for his or her own benefit - without the client’s consent, any personally identifiable information relating to the client relationship or the affairs of the client, except and to the extent disclosure or use is reasonably necessary:

(a) To establish an advisory or brokerage account, to effect a transaction for the client, or as otherwise impliedly authorized in order to carry out the client engagement; or

(b) To comply with legal requirements or legal process; or

(c) To defend the CFPCM Certificant against charges of wrongdoing; or

(d) In connection with a civil dispute between the CFPCM Certificant and the client.

For purposes of this rule, the proscribed use of client information is improper whether or not it actually causes harm to the client.

Rule 602

A CFPCM Certificant shall maintain the same standards of confidentiality to employers as to clients.

Rule 603

A CFPCM Certificant doing business as a partner or principal of a financial services firm owes to the co-owners a responsibility to act in good faith. This includes, but is not limited to, adherence to reasonable expectations of confidentiality both while in business together and thereafter.

Rule 604

Unless compelled to by law, or as required to fulfill a legal obligation, any CFPCM Certificant who by reason of their membership in the FPSB India is exposed to, learns of or has access to information and knowledge concerning the FPSB India and/or CFPCM Certificants must keep confidential all such information and knowledge and is not entitled to communicate or divulge that information or knowledge or any part thereof.

Rule 605

A CFPCM Certificant must, when requested to do so by a client, give to the client or another person authorized by the client, any original document (not photocopies) related to the provision of financial planning advice for which the client has paid or will pay for. This does not include documents which have been prepared or received by the CFPCM Certificant in undertaking the advisory task, such as internal notes, memoranda, quotes or other working documents.

Rule 606

A CFPCM Certificant shall take prudent steps to protect the security of the client’s information and property, including the security of stored information, whether physically or electronically, that is within the CFPCM Certificant’s control.

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PROFESSIONALISM – Rules that relate to the Principle of Professionalism

Rule 701

A CFPCM Certificant shall show respect for other financial planning professionals, and related occupational groups, by engaging in fair and honorable competitive practices.

Rule 702

A CFPCM Certificant shall not engage in any conduct that reflects adversely on his or her integrity or fitness as a Member, upon the marks, or upon the profession.

Rule 703

A CFPCM Certificant shall not practice any other profession or offer to provide such services unless the CFPCM Certificant is qualified to practice in those fields.

Rule 704

A CFPCM Certificant shall effect and maintain professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the requirements prescribed by the FPSB India from time to time. A CFPCM Certificant must notify the FPSB India in writing immediately of any material change to its professional indemnity insurance.

Rule 705

A CFPCM Certificant shall not misrepresent the status of their Membership of FPSB India.

Rule 706

A CFPCM Certificant shall not misstate their authority to represent the FPSB India. Specifically, a CFPCM Certificant shall not write, speak or act in such a way as to lead another to believe that one is officially representing FPSB India, unless the CFPCM Certificant has been duly informed to do so by the officers, directors or rules of the FPSB India.

Rule 707

A CFPCM Certificant shall co-operate with FPSB India in all aspects of any investigation or compliance review as per the disciplinary rules or procedures set out by FPSB India.

Rule 708

A CFPCM Certificant shall not mislead clients or any other party about the potential benefits of the CFPCM Certificant’s service.

Rule 709

A CFPCM Certificant who is an employee/agent shall perform professional services in compliance with lawful objectives of the employer/principal and in accordance with the FPSB India’s Code of Ethics, Professional Standards.

Rule 710

In all professional activities a CFPCM Certificant shall perform services in accordance with:

(a) Applicable laws, rules, and regulations of governmental agencies and other applicable authorities; and

(b) Applicable rules and other established policies of FPSB India including continuing professional development requirements, to retain the right to use CFP marks.

Rule 711

A CFPCM Certificant shall notify the FPSB India Member in writing of any conviction of a crime (as defined by the Member), or any professional suspension or revocation within the time specified by the FPSB India Member after the date on which the CFPCM Certificant is notified of the conviction, suspension or revocation.

Rule 712

A CFPCM Certificant shall notify the FPSB India of changes to contact information, including e-mail address, telephone number(s) and physical address, if any from time to time.

Rule 713

The CFPCM Certificant shall provide written information and/or discuss with the client the following:

(a) Role and responsibilities of each party to the engagement at each stage of financial planning

(b) Terms under which the CFPCM Certificant will use proprietary products;

(c) Terms under which the CFPCM Certificant will use other entities/professionals to meet any of the agreement’s obligations;

(d) The process for terminating the relationship; and

(e) Procedures for resolution of client claims and complaints against the CFPCM Certificant.

Rule 714

A CFPCM Certificant shall know and reasonably apply the Financial Planning Practice Standards that are relevant to the scope of the engagement with the client. Any conduct by its Representatives or employees that relates to conduct of the CFPCM Certificant’s financial planning business shall be treated as the conduct of the CFPCM Certificant.

Rule 715

A CFPCM Certificant shall ensure that information and relevant documents given to or gathered by the CFPCM Certificant are securely stored to establish at any time that it has complied with the FPSB India’s Professional Standards and be available for inspection by the FPSB India when required. Such records shall be retained for seven years from the date the document was last acted upon.

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DILIGENCE - Rules that relate to the Code of Ethic of Diligence

Rule 801

A CFPCM Certificant shall provide services diligently and on a timely basis.

Rule 802

A financial planning practitioner shall enter into an engagement only after securing sufficient information to satisfy the CFPCM Certificant that:

(a) The relationship is warranted by the individual’s needs and objectives; and

(b) The CFPCM Certificant has the ability to either provide requisite competent services or to involve other professionals who can provide such services.

Rule 803

In preparing oral or written recommendations to clients, a CFPCM Certificant shall collect sufficient information to ensure appropriate advice can be given.

Rule 804

In preparing oral or written recommendations to clients, a CFPCM Certificant shall conduct or have access to research on financial strategies and products that may be appropriate to achieve the client’s identified needs and objectives. A CFPCM Certificant may rely upon an investigation undertaken by a third party provided it is reasonable to place reliance on the quality of such investigation.

Rule 805

In preparing oral or written recommendations to clients, a CFPCM Certificant must take reasonable steps to place the client in a position to comprehend the recommendations and the basis for the recommendations. A CFPCM Certificant should also take due care to explain the nature of the investment risks involved in terms the client is likely to understand.

Rule 806

A CFPCM Certificant must ensure all significant recommendations are made in writing. If any significant recommendations are given orally, then confirmation must be given in writing as soon as practicable.

Rule 807

A financial planning practitioner shall make and/or implement only recommendations that are suitable for the client and all agreed recommendations must be implemented in an accurate, efficient and timely manner.

Rule 808

In certain circumstances, Rules 803 to 805 inclusive will not apply where there is an express documented instruction by a client to limit or restrict the scope of the financial planning service (e.g., an execution-only transaction service or advice limited to a particular area or product or where a client refuses to provide information sought). The client must be warned prior to implementing the relevant transactions about the consequences of the CFPCM Certificant following the instructions.

Rule 809

A CFPCM Certificant shall not move a client or cause a client to move from an investment to another investment without explaining to the client, in terms that the client is likely to understand, the reasons for the move. The CFPCM Certificant must demonstrate that the move is appropriate for the client.

Rule 810

A CFPCM Certificant shall confirm in writing to a client where a subsequent instruction given by that client significantly alters the financial strategy or balance of an existing portfolio under the supervision of the Member.

Rule 811

A CFPCM Certificant shall establish and maintain written policies and procedures for the effective control and conduct of its business.

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