Recent allegations of unscrupulous practices at all of the big Canadian banks have some investors questioning the motivation behind the advice they have been receiving. We weigh in:
Recently, Canadian investors have been rocked by revelations from “Employees at all five of Canada's big banks flooding Go Public with stories of how they feel pressured to upsell, trick and even lie to customers to meet unrealistic sales targets and keep their jobs…including one RBC financial adviser who said, "We are all doing it."” (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/banks-upselling-go-public-1.4023575)
These stories reportedly came from a range of employees, from Tellers to Advisors, and detail unethical, conflicted, misaligned policies and practices, prompting an investigation by the FCAC (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/fcac-bank-review-1.4025864).
We aren’t going to comment on the actions of others, and we know many good people who work at the banks. However, we are going to take this opportunity to remind you of exactly what we, at the Kaufman Group believe, and how we govern ourselves. In short, we don’t operate that way, we aren’t compensated that way, and everything we do is open and transparent.
We are proud to be committed to the following five principles, as originally detailed by the Committee for the Fiduciary Standard (http://www.thefiduciaryinstitute.org/):
We will always put your best interests first.
We will act with prudence; that is, with the skill, care, diligence, and good judgment of a professional.
We will not mislead you, and we will provide conspicuous, full and fair disclosure of all important facts.
We will avoid conflicts of interest.
We will fully disclose and fairly manage, in your favour, any unavoidable conflicts.
Further, we have long been advocates for objective, independent, conflict-free advice, and of Advisors acting in the best interests of their clients—see here.
Finally, we adhere to the strictest ethical code that exists for financial professionals, the CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics & Standards of Professional Conduct, which we invite you to review here: http://www.cfapubs.org/doi/pdf/10.2469/ccb.v2014.n6.1)
If you, your friends, family, or colleagues are concerned about this, we invite you to come talk with us.