Once again the independence of valuation services is highlighted as a major concern by investors and the financial community.  Continuing the topical theme of firms managing multiple potential conflicts of interest throughout the audit and wider professional services industries, in a leading article in The Times this morning, the paper re-iterates its campaign for transparency in the real estate valuation market.  

The article indicates the RICS, the professional body that governs the member firms, is considering enhancing its ethical standards to reduce the current exposures faced by firms which have the potential to damage the wider valuation market.

This is in addition to the impacts considered in the audit sector by the UK government which, among some proposals, may include a forced separation of the audit business from other service lines.

Whether mandated by legislation or by professional standards, everyone in the valuation industry will be watching to see how the regulatory regime is changed, in what is a long-running story that has still a long way to go before widespread change is effected.  These topics have been raised on multiple occasions previously with little change taking place.  

The current momentum does appear to have greater traction, however with Brexit and the business impacts of leaving the EU still high on the government agenda over the next 12 months and beyond, it would be optimistic to consider that material change will be made on the issue of conflicts any time soon.