Relationship between the Code and Standards and Applicable Law in ethical and professional standards

Relationship between the Code and Standards and Applicable Law

Some members or candidates may live, work, or provide investment services to clients living in a country that has no law or regulation governing a particular action or that has laws or regulations that differ from the requirements of the Code and Standards.
When applicable law and the Code and Standards require different conduct, members and candidates must follow the more strict of the applicable law or the Code and Standards.
“Applicable law” is the law that governs the member’s or candidate’s conduct. Which law applies will depend on the particular facts and circumstances of each case. The “more strict” law or regulation is the law or regulation that imposes greater restrictions on the action of the member or candidate or calls for the member or
candidate to exert a greater degree of action that protects the interests of investors.
For example, applicable law or regulation may not require members and candidates to disclose referral fees received from or paid to others for the recommendation of investment products or services. Because the Code and Standards impose this obligation, however, members and candidates must disclose the existence of such fees.
Members and candidates must adhere to the following principles:
Members and candidates must comply with applicable laws or regulations related to their professional activities.
Members and candidates must not engage in conduct that constitutes a violation of the Code and Standards, even though it may otherwise be legal.
In the absence of any applicable law or regulation or when the Code and Standards impose a higher degree of responsibility than applicable laws and regulations, members and candidates must adhere to the Code and Standards.

The applicable laws governing the responsibilities of a member or candidate should be viewed as the minimal threshold of acceptable actions. When members and candidates take actions that exceed the minimal requirements, they further support the conduct required of Standard I(A).
CFA Institute members are obligated to abide by the CFA Institute Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Code of Ethics, Standards of Professional Conduct, Rules of Procedure, Membership Agreement, and other applicable rules promulgated by CFA Institute, all as amended periodically. CFA candidates who are not members must also
abide by these documents (except for the Membership Agreement) as well as rules and regulations related to the administration of the CFA examination, the Candidate Responsibility Statement, and the Candidate Pledge.

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