RICS launches Conflict of Interest consultation on UK commercial property investment

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Property and industry professionals are being asked to review proposed new mandatory requirements from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) aimed at addressing conflicts of interest in the UK commercial property investment agency market.

The new professional statement marks the next phase of an extensive programme of work by RICS that will provide a tighter regulatory framework and greater clarity for RICS professionals and firms. Building on the IPF Protocol: Open Market Investment Agency (November 2014), which sets out good practice in property investment sales and acquisitions, industry leaders from property, regulation, banking and legal sectors have worked with RICS to put together these draft mandatory requirements.

Nigel Sellars FRICS, Associate Director, Professional Groups said:

“It is essential that RICS standards are constantly evolving and remain fit-for-purpose in the face of changing market conditions. Confidence in the integrity of investment agents is central to the relationship of trust between the industry and its customers. This means when providing commercial property investment advice for customers, RICS professionals and RICS regulated firms must always be transparent, and act in the public interest ahead of their own. For this reason we have undertaken an extensive consultation to determine industry and key stakeholder views.

“As part of our consultation process it emerged that there were issues, such as dual agency, that were of particular concern to the UK commercial property investment market. In response to demand, we have developed UK-specific mandatory requirements, building on the good work of the IPF protocol that outlines the best practice that we expect RICS professionals and firms to adhere to. We would call on those with expertise to review the draft and provide feedback.”

The UK Commercial Property Investment paper will be launched alongside an over-arching global professional statement (applicable to all Chartered Surveying specialisms) at the international real estate conference, MIPIM in March 2017.

RICS is currently calling on property, regulatory and industry professionals to review and feedback on this consultation.

The consultation, which closes on February 10th can be found at – https://consultations.rics.org/