Question :
If a business owner believes one of his financial  service providers, accountant or similar has taken on a client that is in there eyes a conflict of interest how should you proceed. 

Question submitted 09/08/20 @ 08:19pm
Industry: Funding & Finance
  • Kia ora, The best course of action if you think there is a conflict, is to raise the issue as soon as possible with the provider in question. They may not have been aware of the conflict or may not see it as a conflict. Even if there is not a strict conflict according to their particular industry’s code of conduct, you may still perceive their behaviour as creating a conflict. If they don’t see it that way, and are not able to give you comfort that there is no risk to you in what they are doing, your only recourse may be to leave them. If there is a strict conflict according to their industry’s code of conduct, you can appeal to their industry governing body; however, there is a lot of room for interpretation in these matters, and you may still be left with changing providers being your best option.

    Morena – I would get very clear on what is the nature of the conflict of interest – is it that the client is competitive to yours or has your provider taken action that impacts on you negatively? Good advice to reach out to the Industry Body, once you are clear on the nature of the interest and/or conflict.

    Thanks for the advice, it is a competitor who has copied our product and who we have less than a positive history with, so we feel like the conflict is real although that view wasn’t shared by the person in question. We still can’t quite grasp why they went there, we’ve had a good relationship and built a great business together and then this. Seems like it might be a good time to change. Thanks again.

    Hey Chriso – that’s not cricket. I don’t know about the ‘industry practices’ – I would ring the industry body and ask if they can do this – but as you say, there must be a reason why they did this? Was it a different partner in the practise? This can happen sometimes.

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