The ABFA Code

The Code together with the supporting detailed Guidance, sets and promotes standards of best practice and professionalism that Members must meet in their relationships with clients and other parties. ABFA Members commit to treating their clients fairly and responsibly, and to operating with integrity at all times. They also commit to being timely, transparent and unambiguous in their dealings with clients.

The Code is principles-based rather than prescriptive to ensure it can evolve and always remain focused on outcomes for clients rather than on process. The commitments are drawn from the Treating Customers Fairly principles set out by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The principles set out in the Code are supported by more detailed Guidance. The Guidance is intended to support Members in implementing those principles and sets out examples of best practice. The Guidance is not intended to be exhaustive; for instance, ABFA Members that already operate to some extent in a formally regulated environment will interpret the principles of the Code in the context of their existing practices and policies.  There should be no conflict between the ABFA framework and any existing statutory regulatory systems – if there is, however, the latter will always prevail.

The Code and supporting Guidance documents were last updated in January 2017. In terms of the ABFA Complaints Process, complaints will be considered against the relevant Code and Guidance documents that were in place when the action(s) occurred.

The current and previous versions of the Code and Guidance documents are available below.


ABFA Code (Effective from January 2016)
Detailed ABFA Guidance (Effective from January 2017)


Detailed ABFA Guidance (Effective from January 2016)
ABFA Code (Previous version July 2013)
Detailed ABFA Guidance (Previous version July 2013)