RICS Unveils Plans to Get Tough on Conflicts of Interest

Conflict of interest professional statement, March 2017

New mandatory requirements on conflicts of interest for land, property and construction industry

  • New conflicts of interest requirements for RICS professionals launched following extensive industry consultation.
  • New global rules launched with mandatory requirements for UK commercial property investment market that bans controversial practice of dual agency
  • All RICS Regulated firms and members will be required to meet the new standard to be effective from January 1st 2018.
  • Major UK REITS, Land Securities and SEGRO commit to adopting new requirements ahead of 2018 deadline.

HONG KONG--()--Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is tightening up requirements for professionals and Regulated Firms working in the land, property and construction sector, with the publication today of a new global professional statement on conflicts of interest.

Following on from this, in April, RICS will be publishing an additional UK-specific professional statement for the commercial property investment market that bans the controversial practice of dual agency - known colloquially as ‘double-dipping’. Both of these standards will be effective from January 1st 2018.

The new global professional statement, which will become mandatory next year, is being launched today at MIPIM, (a major international real estate exhibition and conference held in Cannes, France) having been developed as the result of an extensive consultation that saw industry professionals and regulatory experts offer their views.

The key findings from the global consultation showed that respondents would like to see RICS address:

  • definitions of confidentiality
  • full disclosure and transparency between parties
  • the practice of ‘‘dual agency” in the UK commercial property investment market
  • tighter rules around multiple agency relationships

The new requirements aim to address these concerns, providing both greater confidence for investors and increased clarity for RICS professionals.

The new UK professional statement will now see the controversial practice of dual agency, whereby agents act for both sides in an instruction, banned in the UK.

On a global level, multiple agency relationships will now only be permissible with informed consent and, the professional statement introduces better processes for managing that consent and promoting transparency. The professional statement will also offer clearer guidance on confidentiality, building greater understanding of where the information gained during a transaction should not be used.

Following launch of the global statement and the UK-specific statement, RICS will seek to review the practice of dual agency outside of the UK market and consult on the requirement for further market specific standards. Already, some of the best-known commercial property firms, such as SEGRO, JLL and Land Securities have indicated their support for the new standards.

David Sleath, CEO of SEGRO plc said:

“It is vital that agents and real estate professional advisers are seen to adhere to the highest standards, conducting themselves with the greatest integrity. For too long public trust in the industry has been blighted by concerns around conflicts of interest. Action urgently needed to be taken and I’m pleased to see that RICS has taken the lead in banning the practice of ‘dual agency’ or ‘double-running’. Across our industry, we should view this as a very welcome move.”

RICS believes that it is uniquely placed to provide world-class standards for a global profession in land, property, construction and infrastructure. Regulating the profession in a way that holds it to this promise is vital to inspire confidence among clients and the public.

The RICS professional statement on Conflict of Interest, which is being launched today at MIPIM by RICS CEO, Sean Tompkins.

Mr Tompkins said:

“Issues around conflict of interest continue to risk undermining the reputation of a world-class profession. As the leading professional body in the land, property and construction sector, it was our job to take action. I am extremely proud of our new professional statement, which I believe will rebuild trust, ensuring that RICS professionals and regulated firms provide confidence to investors and clients alike.”

For further details on the professional statements, please view: www.rics.org

About RICS

Confidence through professional standards

RICS promotes and enforces the highest professional qualifications and standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. Our name promises the consistent delivery of standards – bringing confidence to the markets we serve.

We accredit 125,000 professionals and any individual or firm registered with RICS is subject to our quality assurance. Their expertise covers property, asset valuation, real estate management; the development of infrastructure; and the management of natural resources, such as mining, farms and woodland. From environmental assessments and building controls to negotiating land rights in an emerging economy; if our members are involved the same professional standards and ethics apply.

We believe that standards underpin effective markets. With up to seventy per cent of the world’s wealth bound up in land and real estate, our sector is vital to economic development, helping to support stable, sustainable investment and growth around the globe.

With offices covering the major political and financial centres of the world, our market presence means we are ideally placed to influence policy and embed professional standards. We work at a cross-governmental level, delivering international standards that will support a safe and vibrant marketplace in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure, for the benefit of all.

We are proud of our reputation and work hard to protect it, so clients who work with an RICS professional can have confidence in the quality and ethics of the services they receive.

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:
RICS East Asia Public Relations Representatives
Ms Penn Leung / Ms Peggy Mak
T: 3159 2986 / 3159 2982
E: penn.leung@creativegp.com / peggy.mak@creativegp.com

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:
RICS East Asia Public Relations Representatives
Ms Penn Leung / Ms Peggy Mak
T: 3159 2986 / 3159 2982
E: penn.leung@creativegp.com / peggy.mak@creativegp.com