Financial conflicts of interest

Do you stand to gain or lose financially from the decision? Does someone close to you – like an immediate family member – or a business you are involved with stand to gain or lose financially from the decision?

A situation does not need to involve cash changing hands to be considered a financial interest. A financial interest could, for example, relate to an effect on the value of property.

A financial interest might be direct or indirect. In situations that someone close to you or a business you are involved with has a financial interest, you might be considered to share their interest.

Financial interests are generally treated more strictly than other types of interest. If you have a financial conflict of interest, the law presumes you are biased. This is why you should automatically treat a financial conflict of interest seriously, even if it seems trivial to you.

For some entities in the public sector, there are specific statutory requirements that apply to managing the financial conflicts of interest, which you need to be aware of.

For more, see paragraphs 3.7-3.11 and scenarios 3 and 5 of Managing conflicts of interest: A guide for the public sector.

If you are an elected member of a local council, or a member of the governing body of any other entity to which the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968 applies, please also read our Guide on that Act.