The organisation is stressing that the new test is not a response by CISI to such recent events as the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal, but reflects its ongoing approach to establishing and maintaining high standards of professionalism.
“Since [CISI] was formed over 20 years ago, it has placed integrity at the heart of its business,” CISI said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the new ethics test. Its motto, featured in its coat of arms, is “my word is my bond”, the statement added.
“The institute has been using case studies for ethical dilemmas for over six years, and since 2009 all of its chartered members have needed to pass this test,” it said.
The new, so-called "IntegrityMatters" test is being promoted in the UK with what CISI said was its "first ever" national advertising campaign, which it said began yesterday with advertisements in regional newspapers. Ads are also planned for certain Underground stations in London’s financial district.
Members of the public may pay £20 to take the test, although CISI is making the “workshop” part of it available for free to the public from today on its website, at www.cisi.org.
Who must take the test
According to CISI, those who will be required to take the new ethics test will be aspiring corporate finance and investment banking professionals, including those working in mergers and acquisitions, bond-trading, shares and derivatives.
A second phase of the IntegrityMatters programme will be rolled out in the next 12 months, CISI said, which it says will target the "wholesale operations sector". This is defined as those who work as operations supervisors, data input officers, in asset servicing, securities servicing, investment accounting, performance measurement, trustee and depository services, shareholder services and compliance.
Based in London, CISI has offices around the world, including in China, India, Singapore, Dubai and Dublin. It was formed in 1992 as the Securities Institute by members of the London Stock Exchange, changing its name over the course of the next few years, and the qualifications it awards – notably FCSI, MCSI and ACSI– are widely recognised in the financial services industry.
News of the CISI ethics test comes less than two weeks after another internationally-focused accreditation body, the CFA Institute, along with a team of financial industry leaders, unveiled a project which included a Statement of Investor Rights and Principles, which they said was designed to "help buyers of financial service products demand the conduct they are entitled to expect from financial service providers”.