AFM Behavioural policy, version January 2023

As a trade association representing customer-owned organisations, AFM strongly believes that the sector should exhibit ethical and decent behaviour at all times, in an environment where everybody can reach their full potential without fear of harassment, prejudice or discrimination.  Individual organisations have their own conduct policies and procedures, and this note therefore purely relates to circumstances where members are on AFM duty.

What we expect

We expect employees of all AFM members and Associate members to behave professionally when attending an AFM event or meeting, or when representing the sector elsewhere.  This means conducting themselves with due respect and decency for those around them, and ensuring their behaviour does not risk reputational damage to AFM or the wider sector.

Some AFM events are externally hosted and/ or presented, and our commitment to courtesy extends to behaviour towards hosts and presenters, including that should an attendee be unable to attend an event, they always let us know as soon as possible.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

AFM is committed to D, E & I.  We expect that AFM members will avoid behaviour that could be seen to be in any way bullying, or discriminatory against any protected characteristic, or in other way likely to cause offence.

The Mutual Diversity Alliance (MDA) was formed on a voluntary basis, to set out a basis for the sector to demonstrate a strong commitment to good behaviour.  Following its success, we have now extended the MDA to make its resources available to all members of AFM, and in the review of the AFM Corporate Governance Code in early 2023, we will consider how to add further focus to D, E & I, including via the principles in MDA.  A copy of the MDA commitment is attached.

What we’ll do

If we have concerns that any employee of an AFM member or an Associate is demonstrating poor and inappropriate behaviour whilst on AFM business, we will seek their commitment to cease doing so immediately, and if practical their withdrawal from the event or meeting they are attending.

If the behaviour persists, or is serious and subject to a formal complaint, we will refer the issue to their CEO or Chair as appropriate.  The AFM Board’s Nominations Committee will review what further action is needed against the individual and, if necessary, their employer.  Action might range from a letter from the AFM Chair to, in extreme cases, the withdrawal of membership.

Association of Financial Mutuals, January 2023

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