The various acts and bodies that govern the financial planning industry require that various official company policies are readily available to our clients.
We are happy to comply with these requirements as it contributes to upholding professional standards and makes the industry more transparent for clients and planners.
OUR COMPLAINTS POLICY
BLUELINE Independent (PTY)Ltd has an official complaints handling policy as required by the FSB.
In the event that you need to make a complaint, please take the following action:
As a starting point:
Please feel free to contact Wendy Bensch on 021 8525873 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If, after contacting us you are not satisfied that your complaint has been resolved, or is being dealt with adequately please:
Put your complaint in writing:
Postnet Suite 89
Private Bag X15
- We will acknowledge all complaints in writing. If you do not receive such an acknowledgement it is because we have not received your complaint, not because we are ignoring it. Please follow up if you have not received a timely acknowledgement.
- Once received we will take steps to investigate and will keep you advised of progress in the matter until it is resolved.
- If the outcome is not favourable to you, full written reasons will be given.
- Where the outcome is favourable to you, a full and appropriate level of redress will be offered without any delay.
- If you are not happy with the outcome of our investigation you then have 6 months to contact the FAIS Ombud and request that they investigate on your behalf.
Here are the contact details of the FAIS Ombud:
How to Complain to the FAIS Ombud: www.faisombud.co.za/howtocomplain
Po Box 74571
OUR CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY
The Financial Services Board requires that we have a Conflict of Interest Policy in place.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST MANAGEMENT POLICY: CONTROL DOCUMENTATION for CAT II/IIA 2
- 1. Conflicts of Interest Management Policy Framework-Controls & Procedures (Notes on procedures and guidance on policy) 4
- 2. Disclosure of Affiliations/Interests (Disclosure of Interests and Control measures questionnaire.) 8
- 3. Master Conflicts Register – Material Financial Interest (In terms of Section 3 of the FAIS General Code of Conduct – Material Financial Interests/Ownership interests.) 12
- 4. Register – Immaterial Financial Interest 17
- 5. COI Questionnaire – to be completed by key individuals and/or senior management at least twice a year. 20
- 6. Proposed amendment to the Letter of Introduction, including new addendum 24
- 7. Declarations (Including: Immaterial financial interests and ownership interests) 26
- 8. Abbreviated conflicts of interest policy for publishing on website (please amend all documents as appropriate) 29 3
In light of the recent Conflicts of Interest regulations, a review of all current controls and procedures in terms of managing conflicts of interest is necessary. The amendment to the General Code of Conduct for Financial Services Providers and Representatives sets out provisions regarding the treatment of Conflicts of Interest.
The general principles of the new regulations provide as follows:
- Financial Services Providers (FSPs) must avoid, and where this is not possible, mitigate conflicts of interest.
- All actual or potential conflicts of interest in respect of a client must be disclosed to that client in writing and must include: the disclosure of all ownership or financial interests (excluding immaterial financial interests) that the FSP or representative has or is eligible for, and the nature of any relationship or arrangement with a third party that gives rise to a conflict of interest
The control documents contained herein will form an integral part of your FSPs conflicts management framework. 4
1. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST MANAGEMENT POLICY FRAMEWORK-CONTROLS & PROCEDURES (FSP PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING CONFLICT OF INTERESTS)
- IDENTIFY CONFLICT OF INTEREST ESCALATED TO APPOINTED COMPLIANCE OFFICER FOR ASSESSMENT *2
- LOGGED IN CONTROL SHEET (MASTER CONFLICTS REGISTER) *1
- ASSESS CONFLICT FOR MATERIALITY (FINANCIAL INTEREST) – (BY SENIOR ANAGEMENT/COMPLIANCE *3
- DECISION MADE AS TO MATERIALITY – PROCEED / AVOID
- DISCLOSURE REQUIRED – LOG REASON FOR AVOIDING CONFLICT IN REGISTER
- LOG REASON FOR ACCEPTANCE IN THE MASTER CONFLICTS REGISTER
- MONITOR FOR COMPLIANCE (on-going) 5
- *1. Log the date and contents of the COI (real, existing or potential).
- *2. Can be communicated via email but must be in writing to the “conflicts officer”. All correspondence relating to conflict to be placed in a company conflicts file.
- *3. Conflicts officer to liaise with the compliance function to evaluate the conflict and to decide which mechanism to be used to manage conflict (control, avoid or disclose).
If the conflict can be resolved immediately, take the necessary action and advise compliance thereof. The on-going status of the conflict is to be recorded in the register.
If the conflict requires further clarity and investigation by any other party, insert comments as appropriate in the appropriate register.
NOTES TO PROCEDURES (Best practice-AMEND AS APPROPRIATE)
- Assign a member of staff with primary responsibility for identifying, recording and managing conflicts of interest. (To be known internally as the Conflicts Officer). In most circumstances this will be the person with primary responsibility for internal compliance (for example the current in house compliance champion). If an external compliance officer is appointed it may be that the FSP will appoint an internal conflicts officer who will liaise with the compliance function directly to effectively manage conflict situations.
- 2. The “Conflicts Officer” will advise all relevant staff of:
- The definition of ‘conflict of interest’;
- The main features; and
- Examples or possible conflicts of interest that may emerge
- 3. At the same time the Conflicts Officer will co-ordinate a questionnaire (annual) of directors and relevant staff, requiring them to assess all aspects of their responsibilities and their business relationships, with a view to identifying actual or potential conflicts (and circumstances that might be perceived as conflicts). Directors, managers and 6 internal legal and compliance officers should attempt to identify conflicts across the business, while other staff will focus on their individual circumstances. Even when individuals completing the questionnaire are confident that objective financial advice will be provided, in spite of a potential conflict, they should report the conflict: clients and regulators may not easily be persuaded that advice was objective.
- 4. The “conflicts Officer” together with compliance will assess the seriousness (with compliance) of identified possible conflicts, and will determine (in consultation with senior management) how the conflict should be managed. Typically this can involve: 5.1 If current disclosures constitute adequate management
- 5.2 What further disclosures would constitute adequate management?
- 5.3 Whether or not disclosure alone can adequately manage the conflict. Where it cannot, all stakeholders can decide how the conflict should be avoided, or whether the conflict should be referred for prompt board consideration.
- 6. The Conflicts Officer will keep adequate records of the controls management process, from identification through to effective resolution of the conflict.
- 7. The Compliance officer can prepare a report on the management of conflicts of interest, for the Board to consider at intervals appropriate to the business.
- 8. Conflicts of interest will become a standing agenda item for Board meetings.
- 9. Procedures can be drafted and adopted by the Board to form part of the compliance documentation, addressing the above steps and responsibilities.
- 10. The COI procedures and their efficacy in operation will be reviewed by senior management of the FSP in conjunction with compliance.
ROLE OF COMPLIANCE
Key Comply, as compliance officers of the FSP, is in a position to assist the FSP in facilitating the handling of any identified conflict relating to the FSP. This may involve 7 assessing and evaluating the conflict with the FSP, and decide upon, and implement, an appropriate response to the conflict.Key Comply Serve to ensure conflict-monitoring procedures are in place to ensure that any non-compliance with the FSP’s conflicts management arrangements are identified and appropriately acted on.
As part of the conflict arrangements Key Comply will include measures such as meeting with affected staff as appropriate, conduct periodic reviews of the business operation and conduct periodic reviews of client files and other appropriate documentation. Key Comply will monitor all conflicts documentation as part of its wider scale monitoring programme with the FSP.
ROLE OF ALL EMPLOYEES IN FSP
All employees of the FSP are obliged to report actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest-see procedures above to senior management. The failure of employees to notify management to the potential conflict of interest may result in disciplinary action being taken against the affected individual/s.
ROLE OF ALL SENIOR MANAGEMENT
Those individuals responsible for the internal oversight function have responsibilities to implement appropriate processes and procedures for the effective risk management of conflicts of interest and other risks arising within their organizations. It is the responsibility of senior management to implement conflicts management policies, procedures and controls to manage conflicts effectively. There is no ‘one size fits all’ that can effectively address the full range of conflicts of interest that arise in the business of the FSP.
OUR ACCESS TO INFORMATION GUIDE
In order to exercise or protect rights, Section 51 of the Promotion of Access to Information Act No. 2 of 2000 requires that we compile a manual that gives the general public information about the procedure to follow when you request information from us.
BLUELINE INDEPENDENT -ACCESSING OUR INFORMATION
Our Manual in terms of Section 51 of the Promotion of Access to Information Act No. 2 of 2000
- 1. Preamble 3
- 2. Introduction to this private body 3
- 3. Our details 4
- 4. The official guide 4
- 5. Information available in terms of the Act 5
- 6. Information available in terms of other legislation 5
- 7.1 How to request a record 5
- 7.2 Subjects and categories of records held 6
- 7.2.1 Internal records 7
- 7.2.2 Personnel records 7
- 7.2.3 Client-related records 7
- 7.2.4 Other parties 8
- 7.2.5 Other records 8
- 8. Other information as may be prescribed 8
- 9. Availability of the manual 8
Annexure “A” – Request for access to the records of a private body 9
Annexure “B” – Fees in respect of private bodies 13
Table of Contents
PROMOTION OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT, ACT 2 OF 2000 (“The Act”)
MANUAL IN TERMS OF SECTION 51 OF THE ACT FOR BLUELINE INDEPENDENT (PTY)Ltd
The Promotion of Access to Information Act No.2 of 2000, (“the Act”) came into operation on the 23 November 2001. Section 51 of this Act requires that we as a private body compile a manual giving information to the public regarding the procedure to be followed in requesting information from us for the purpose of exercising or protecting rights. Inside these pages, you will be able to view the categories of information which we possess. You will also be shown the correct procedure to follow should you require access to any of this information.
We, as a private body, have compiled this manual, not only to comply with the provisions of the Act, but also to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in our environment and to ensure that members of the public have effective access to information in our possession which will assist them in the exercise and protection of their rights.
Blueline Independent, formed in 2012, is a firm of independent financial advisors.
PARTICULARS IN TERMS OF SECTION 51 OF THE ACT
Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd – Reg 2012/118190/07
Contact details [Section 51(1)(a)]
Unit 14 Melcksloot Village
Postnet Suite 89
Private Bag X15
(021) 852 5873
Ms. Wendy Bensch
4 The guide as described in section 10 of the Act [Section 51(1)(b)]
This guide on how to exercise your rights in terms of the Act is in the process of preparation by the SAHRC and is expected to be available in August 2003. When available, it can be obtained from the SAHRC. Please direct any queries to: The South African Human Rights Commission: PAIA Unit: Research and Documentation Department
5 The reference, in this Manual, to any information in addition to that specifically required in terms of Section 51 of the Act does not create any right or entitlement (contractual or otherwise) to receive such information, other than in terms of the Act.
6 The Acts
Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997
Close Corporations Act 69 of 1984
Financial Services Board Act No. 97 of 1990
Income Tax Act 58 of 1962
Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995
Long Term Insurance Act No. 52 of 1998
Medical Schemes Act No. 131 of 1998
Occupational Health & Safety Act 85 of 1993
Regional Services Councils Act No. 109 of 1985
Skills Development Act 97 of 1998
Skills Development Levies Act 9 of 1999
Stamp Duties Act. 77 of 1968
Unemployment Contributions Act 4 of 2002
Unemployment Insurance Act 30 of 1966
Value Added Tax Act 89 of 1991
7.1 How to request a record
Records available in terms of other legislation [Section 51 (1) (d)]
Requests for access to records held by Blueline Independent must be made on the request forms that are available from the SAHRC website (www.sahrc.org.za) or the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development website (www.doj.gov.za) (under “regulations”).
For the convenience of requestors, copies of these forms are included in the version of this Manual available at our offices (Annexure 1).
How to request a record, a description of the subjects on which we hold records, and the categories of records held on each subject Categories of records of Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd which are available without a person having to request access in terms of the Act, i.e. voluntary disclosure [Section 51(1)(c)]
Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd is not obliged to publish a notice in terms of Section 52(2) of the Act and to date has not elected to do so. Nevertheless Blueline Independent(PTY)Ltd does, from time to time, make certain information freely available to the public in various brochures, press releases, and publications. Certain information is also made available to employees of Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd, which is not generally made available to the public. To avoid confusion, these items are not listed here but may be obtained by Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd ‘s employees from Blueline management.
Information is available in terms of the following legislation to the persons or entities specified in such legislation: [Section 51(1)(e)]
57.2 Subjects and categories of records held by Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd
Requests for access to records must be made to our Information Officer at the address, fax number or electronic mail address provided. It is vital that the requester identifies the right that he or she is seeking to exercise or the right that he or she is seeking to exercise or protect and provides an explanation of why the requested record is required for the exercise or protection of that right.
The head of the private body will then make a decision on the request and notify the requester in the required form. Kindly note that all requests to Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd will be evaluated and considered in accordance with the Act. Publication of this Manual and describing the categories and subject matter of information held by Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd does not give rise to any rights to access such information or records, except in terms of the Act. We maintain records on the following categories and subject matters. However, please However, please note that recording a category or subject matter in this Manual does not imply that a request for access to such records would be honoured. All requests for access will be request for access to such records would be evaluated on a case by case basis in accordance with the provisions of the Act. In particular, there may be applicable grounds of refusal of such a request, as set out in the Act.
If a request is made on behalf of another person, the requester must then submit proof of the capacity in which the requester is making the request to the satisfaction of our Information Officer. If a requestor does not use the standard form (Annexure 1), the request may be rejected for lack of procedural compliance, refused (if sufficient information is not provided, or otherwise) or delayed.
If the request is granted then a further access fee must be paid for the reproduction and the search and preparation, and for any time that has exceeded the prescribed hours to search and prepare the record for disclosure. The head of the private body must notify the requester (other than a personal requester) of the prescribed fee (if any) before further processing the request. The requester may lodge an internal appeal or an application to Court against the tender or payment of the request fee.
Please note that requestors are also required to pay the prescribed fees. The list of The list of prescribed fees in respect of requests, and in respect of access to records (if the request is granted) is attached as Annexure 2.
The requester must provide sufficient detail on the request form to enable the Information Officer to identify the record and the requester. The requester should also indicate which form of access is required and indicate if he or she wishes to be informed in any other manner and state the necessary particulars to be so informed.
67.2.1 Internal records
The following are records pertaining to Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd’s own affairs:
- Founding Statement
- Financial records
- Operational records
- Intellectual property
- Marketing records;
- Internal correspondence;
- Service records;
- Statutory records;
- Internal policies and procedures;
- Minutes of meetings;
- Records held by officials of Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd.
7.2.2 Personnel records
7.2.3 Client-related records
- Any records a third party has provided to us about any of their personnel; Please note further that many of the records held by us are those of third parties, such as clients and employees, and we take the protection of third party confidential information very seriously. In particular, where we act as professional advisors to clients, many of the records held are confidential and others are the property of the client and not of Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd. Requests for access to these records will be considered very carefully. Please ensure that requests for such records are carefully motivated.
- Charters, codes of conduct and policies (both internal and external) to which Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd and its personnel subscribe; and
- Any research conducted by Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd in respect of its clients or research
derived by Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd from its clients and their activities;
- Any records a client has provided to Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd or a third party acting for or on
behalf of Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd (including financial, legal, tax, operational, employee and
- Contracts with the client and between the client and other persons; For the purposes of this section, “personnel” means any person who works for or provides services to or on behalf of Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd and receives or is entitled to receive any remuneration and any other person who assists in carrying out or conducting the business of Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd. This includes, without limitation, members, all permanent, temporary and part-time staff as well as consultants and contract workers.
- Conditions of employment and other personnel-related contractual and quasi-legal records;
- Other internal records and correspondence.
- Internal evaluation and disciplinary records; and
- Employment policies and procedures;
- Any personal records provided to us by our personnel;
77.2.4 Other Parties
7.2.5 Other Records
We hold further records, including:
- Records held by Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd pertaining to other parties, including financial
records, correspondence, contractual records, records provided by the other
party, and records third parties have provided about the contractors or suppliers.
- Personnel, client, or Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd records which are held by another party as
opposed to being held by Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd; and
- Research information belonging to Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd or carried out on behalf of
a third party.
- Procurement and administration for Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd; and
- Information relating to Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd’s own commercial activities;
- Records generated by or within Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd pertaining to the client, including
- Any records a third party has provided to Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd, which concerns a client;
- Records, reports, designs and the like generated by Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd for its clients;
Records are kept in respect of other parties, including without limitation, joint ventures
and consortia to which Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd is a party, contractors and sub-contractors,
suppliers, service providers, and providers of information regarding general market
conditions. In addition, such other parties may possess records which can be said to
belong to Blueline Independent (PTY)Ltd. The following records fall into this category:
Other information as may be prescribed [Section 51(1)(f)]
Availability of manual [Section 51(3)]-No such information has been prescribed.
This manual is available from the South African Human Rights Commission.