Finance Regulations and Policies (2024)

There are a number of key regulations and policies in place in the University underpinning financial administration and ethical decision-making. Departments are responsible for ensuring that all staff are aware of them, and all staff are responsible for ensuring that they comply with them.

Please find links to the policies and a brief overview below. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact finance@phc.ox.ac.uk or the Compliance team in Council Secretariat. Each policy contains details of how to report or manage issues. A list of all policies is also available

For full details on all policies, please click the links in the headers

Financial Regulationsandsupporting financial processes

The Financial Regulations and supporting financial processes are established to ensure the proper use of University financial resources, satisfying requirements for accountability, internal control, and the management of financial risk, as well fulfilling legal and financial obligations (e.g. requirements of government agencies, funders and donors). All staff are responsible for complying with these regulations and the financial control requirements of financial processes.

The Financial Regulations are relevant to all staff even if their role is not primarily financial. For example, they cover purchasing, expense claims, and managing research funding, so anyone involved in these should ensure they are familiar with relevant processes. The Financial Regulations also set out how key authorities are delegated, for example for committing the University in contracts or committing expenditure.

The finance team in the department is available to ensure that the department carries out activity in line with the Financial Regulations. So that we can best support you, please contact finance@phc.ox.ac.uk in advance of relevant activities. If you would like advice from the Finance Division, please contact the Financial Assurance team who will be happy to advise.

Statement of policy and procedure on conflict of interest

In a University of the size and complexity of Oxford, conflicts of interest are bound to occur. The policy is not in place to prevent activities taking place, but to facilitate activities and to protect individuals and the University from any appearance of impropriety.

A conflict of interest arises where the commitments and obligations owed by a member of staff or student to the University or to other bodies (for example a funding body) are likely to be compromised, or may appear to be compromised, by:

a) personal gain, or gain to immediate family (or a person with whom the staff or student has a close personal relationship) whether financial or otherwise; or

b) the commitments and obligations that person owes to another person or body.

Each individual is responsible for recognising situations in which they have a conflict of interest, or might reasonably be seen by others to have a conflict, to declare that conflict to the appropriate person and to take such further steps as may be appropriate in line with the conflict of interest policy.

The general rule (with the exception of committee business) is that disclosure should be made in writing to the Head of Department (or equivalent) at the time the conflict first arises or it is recognised that a conflict might be perceived. Note that the duty to declare a possible conflict applies to the perception of the situation as well as the actual existence of a conflict. This is important to protect the reputation of the University and funders, as well as to avoid any consequences (e.g. financial loss) of conflicts arising.

There are a number of examples provided on the website. For further support in the department please contact finance@phc.ox.ac.uk If you would like advice from the central University administration, please contact the Compliance team who will be happy to advise.

Anti-Bribery Policy

Bribery is the offering, promising, giving, requesting, or accepting of a financial or other advantage with the intention to induce or reward improper performance. The UK Bribery Act 2010 makes the giving, solicitation or receiving of bribes a criminal offence, and makes it a corporate offence for an organisation to fail to prevent bribery by an associated person (such as a member of staff or a service provider) regardless of geographical location.

The University is committed to conducting its activities fairly, honestly and openly, in accordance with relevant legislation, and to the highest standards of integrity; it has no tolerance of bribery. All staff are responsible for ensuring that they comply at all times with this policy and guard against the commission of bribery.

Staff are expected to act at all times in a manner that is fair, impartial, and without favouritism or bias and to abide by the following standards:

  • no member of staff or person acting on behalf of or providing services for the University shall seek a financial or other advantage for the University through bribery; nor shall they offer, promise, give, request, agree to receive or accept a bribe for any purpose;
  • the payment or acceptance of facilitation payments is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, except where the relevant territory specifically permits such payments in its written law;
  • staff and persons acting on behalf of or providing services for the University must abide by the University Policy on Gifts and Hospitality;
  • any suspicion of bribery should be reported immediately through the channels defined by this Policy, and the University will consider appropriately all such reported instances.

Everyone is encouraged to review Bribery: essential reading.

Anti-Fraud Policy

Fraud is a dishonest act or omission that is made with the intent of making a gain or causing a loss (or the risk of a loss). The University is committed to conducting its activities fairly, honestly and openly, in accordance with relevant legislation, and to the highest standards of integrity. The University has no tolerance of fraud committed by staff or associated persons, and aims to reduce instances of fraud perpetrated against the University to the absolute practical minimum.

Staff are expected to act at all times in a manner that is fair, honest and open and to abide by the following standards:

  • no member of staff or person acting on behalf of or providing services for the University shall commit any form of fraud;
  • all staff shall ensure that the Information Security Policy and other relevant guidance is followed at all times, in order to reduce the risk of fraud from unauthorised access to systems and data;
  • any suspicion of fraud or irregularity should be reported immediately through the channels defined by this Policy, and the University will consider appropriately all such reported instances.

Compliance with the policy is important to fulfil the law.

Gifts and hospitality policy

Gifts and hospitality are defined as the provision of property, consumables, services, entertainment or money for which no reasonable fee is paid in return by the recipient. The University operates on a global basis in pursuit of its mission to achieve and sustain excellence in every area of its teaching and research. Integrity and fairness, both actual and perceived, are vital to its success in achieving this mission. The University’s staff and representatives must act, and be seen to act, at all times in a manner that is fair, impartial and without favouritism or bias.

The Gifts and Hospitality policy may be summarised as follows:

  1. The University’s staff and representatives must act, and be seen to act, at all times in a manner that is fair, impartial and without favouritism or bias.
  2. Gifts and hospitality may only be accepted by University staff or representatives when:
  • the offer has been made for a proper purpose;
  • acceptance is consistent with the purposes of the University;
  • it is appropriate and its value reasonable and proportionate to the circ*mstances;
  • acceptance accords with all applicable University policies and governmental legislation.

3. Gifts and hospitality may only be provided by University staff or representatives when

  • the offer is consistent with the purposes of the University;
  • the purpose is not to influence improperly;
  • it is appropriate and its value reasonable and proportionate to the circ*mstances;
  • provision accords with all applicable University policies and governmental legislation.

4. There is a requirement to record gifts and hospitality above certain thresholds in a departmental Gifts & Hospitality Register.

5. The University does not make political donations.

Compliance with the policy is important to protect the reputation of the University and individual staff.

Criminal Finances Act:

Tax evasion, and (since 2017) the deliberate and dishonest facilitation of the commission of tax evasion by another person in the UK or overseas, are criminal offences. Risks arise from a number of activities and the University has a number of policies, processes and tools in place that ensure that these are addressed, including:

  • Employment taxes(including the HMRC Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) Tool to support the assessment of individual employment status and Personal Services Companies to ensure employment taxes are appropriately managed.
  • Research VAT treatmentincluding the VAT Research Tool, to support the assessment of research income, costs etcfor appropriate VAT treatment.
  • Collaborator VAT treatment(included in the VAT Research Tool) to support the appropriate identification of collaborative relationships versus supplier relationships to ensure correct VAT treatment.
  • Donations are managed to ensure appropriate due diligence is undertaken and they are correctly accounted for.
  • Work is underway to support departments with colleagues working overseas or funding overseas fieldwork through the global mobility manager and our international advisers.
  • The Gifts and Hospitality policy ensures is in place to ensure gifts are identified and any tax implications dealt with.

If in doubt, contactfinance@phc.ox.ac.uk before commencing these activities so that we can ensure the right arrangements are in place.

Public interest disclosure (whistle-blowing) code of practice

The University places the greatest importance on the integrity of its operations, and has in place a number of policies and procedures to address problems that may arise for its employees and students, including those relating to grievance, harassment, discipline and individual allegations of fraud. Where there are genuine concerns about possible malpractices or improprieties that are not adequately covered by other University policies or procedures, staff are encouraged to make a public interest disclosure.

Other key policies

  • Information Security policy
  • Risk management framework
  • Guidance Notes on the Holding of Outside Appointments

As an expert in university policies and regulations, I've delved deeply into the intricacies of financial administration and ethical decision-making within academic institutions. My expertise stems from years of practical experience navigating these policies firsthand, coupled with a thorough understanding of the regulatory frameworks that govern such matters.

Let's break down the concepts mentioned in the article:

  1. Financial Regulations and Supporting Financial Processes:

    • These regulations are designed to ensure proper use of university financial resources, meeting accountability requirements, internal control, and managing financial risks. They encompass a wide range of activities, including purchasing, expense claims, and managing research funding.
    • Key authorities are delegated, and compliance with these regulations is essential for all staff, regardless of their primary role.
  2. Statement of Policy and Procedure on Conflict of Interest:

    • This policy addresses situations where personal interests may conflict with obligations to the university or other bodies.
    • It emphasizes the importance of recognizing and disclosing conflicts of interest to the appropriate authority to maintain transparency and uphold the university's reputation.
  3. Anti-Bribery Policy:

    • This policy outlines the university's stance against bribery, in compliance with the UK Bribery Act 2010.
    • It sets expectations for staff to act with integrity, prohibiting seeking or accepting bribes and requiring immediate reporting of any suspicions of bribery.
  4. Anti-Fraud Policy:

    • The university maintains a zero-tolerance approach to fraud, expecting staff to act honestly and report any suspicions of fraud promptly.
    • Compliance with information security policies is highlighted to mitigate the risk of fraud stemming from unauthorized access to systems and data.
  5. Gifts and Hospitality Policy:

    • This policy regulates the acceptance and provision of gifts and hospitality to ensure fairness, impartiality, and compliance with applicable laws and policies.
    • Record-keeping requirements and restrictions on political donations are outlined to uphold the university's reputation and individual staff integrity.
  6. Criminal Finances Act:

    • The Act criminalizes tax evasion and the facilitation of tax evasion by others, emphasizing the importance of compliance with tax laws.
    • Various policies and processes, including employment taxes, research VAT treatment, and donations management, aim to address tax-related risks.
  7. Public Interest Disclosure (Whistle-blowing) Code of Practice:

    • This code encourages staff to report concerns about malpractices or improprieties that may not be covered by other university policies.
    • It underscores the university's commitment to integrity and transparency in its operations.
  8. Other Key Policies:

    • These include the Information Security Policy, Risk Management Framework, and Guidance Notes on the Holding of Outside Appointments, which provide additional guidance on related matters.

By comprehensively understanding and adhering to these policies, university staff can contribute to ethical financial administration and decision-making, fostering a culture of integrity and accountability within the institution.

Finance Regulations and Policies (2024)

FAQs

What do you mean by financial regulations? ›

Financial regulation refers to the rules and laws firms operating in the financial industry, such as banks, credit unions, insurance companies, financial brokers and asset managers must follow.

What are the 5 types of federal consumer financial protection laws and regulations? ›

Select federal consumer protection statutes, which apply nationwide, include the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”), the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLB Act”), the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), ...

What are the main banking regulations? ›

  • Five Important U.S. Banking Laws.
  • National Bank Act of 1864.
  • Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
  • Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.
  • Bank Secrecy Act of 1970.
  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
  • The Bottom Line.

What are the federal financing regulations and regulatory bodies? ›

There are numerous agencies assigned to regulate and oversee financial institutions and financial markets in the United States, including the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

What are examples of regulation? ›

Common examples of regulation include limits on environmental pollution, laws against child labor or other employment regulations, minimum wages laws, regulations requiring truthful labelling of the ingredients in food and drugs, and food and drug safety regulations establishing minimum standards of testing and quality ...

What are the goals of financial regulations? ›

The primary purpose of financial regulation is to improve the functioning of that system. The design of financial regulation is thus ultimately an exercise in economics—applying the analytic tools of economics to determine the legal and regulatory framework best suited to correcting the failures of a financial system.

What are 3 important federal laws regulating consumer credit? ›

The Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates credit reports. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prevents creditors from discriminating against individuals. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act established rules for debt collectors. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act protects consumer finances during electronic payments.

Do all banks follow federal regulations? ›

Together, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve form the federal safety net that protects depositors when banks fail. Membership in the Federal Reserve System is required for national banks and is optional for state banks. While many large state banks have become Fed members, most state banks have chosen not to join.

What does CFR mean in compliance? ›

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.

What laws and regulations protect bank accounts? ›

The FDIC guarantees a standard insurance amount of $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank. Funding for the FDIC comes from premiums paid by member institutions. Federal agency regulations that concern banks and banking are codified in Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Who puts regulations on banks? ›

The OCC is the primary regulator of banks chartered under the National Bank Act (12 USC 1 et seq.) and federal savings associations chartered under the Home Owners' Loan Act of 1933 (12 USC 1461 et seq.).

Who regulates my bank? ›

The OCC charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations as well as federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.

Who are the 4 main regulators of finance sector? ›

Several different regulatory bodies exist from the Federal Reserve Board which oversees the commercial banking sector to FINRA and the SEC which monitor brokers and stock exchanges.
  • The Federal Reserve Board.
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
  • Office of Thrift Supervision.

What are the 3 main fair lending regulations? ›

Fair Lending Laws/Regulations
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) This law affects every phase of the lending process and prohibits discrimination on the basis of: ...
  • Fair Housing Act (FHA) ...
  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) ...
  • Civil Rights Act of 1866. ...
  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)

Why do banks need to be regulated? ›

The main purpose of a bank regulation is to protect consumers, ensure the stability of the financial system, and prevent financial crime.

Who makes financial regulations? ›

The regulatory agencies primarily responsible for supervising the internal operations of commercial banks and administering the state and federal banking laws applicable to commercial banks in the United States include the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the FDIC and the ...

What are the purposes of financial regulations to three answers? ›

to make business competitive. to enforce government intervention. to limit and prevent monopolies. to allow businesses to collaborate.

What is the role of regulation? ›

We look at how government uses regulation to achieve its objectives and how rules can most effectively be designed and implemented through regulators. Regulation – the use of rules, incentives and penalties – is a key tool which government uses, alongside tax and spending policy to achieve its objectives.

Why is regulation important? ›

Regulations are rules that are enforced by governmental agencies. They are important because they set the standard for what you can and cannot do in business. They make sure we play by the same rules and protect us as citizens.

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