Articles

Message from Dr Simon Longstaff, Executive Director of The Ethics Centre

30 Mar 21
by Dr Simon Longstaff
The decision by the Board of The BFO to reintegrate the organisation into its spiritual home, The Ethics Centre, provides a wonderful opportunity to build on over three decades of work that began with the launch of the Centre in 1989.

Now is the time to embrace and embed ethics

30 Mar 21
by Pauline Vamos on behalf of The BFO Board
Having been on the Board of The BFO since 2013 and now seeing The BFO return to its spiritual home at The Ethics Centre, Pauline Vamos outlines what the industry needs to do next to ensure ethics is embedded at both the organisational and individual level.

The ethics of workplace giving… what would you do?

30 Mar 21
by Anonymous
Your workplace has hit the fundraising target it set out to achieve and there is a surplus of funds over and above the target. The head of the fundraising committee who is your branch manager would like to take the group out to celebrate, using some of the surplus funds... 

Young people are the true agents of change

30 Mar 21
by Felix Ryan, ANZ Graduate
After attending an introductory ethics session with his fellow graduates and Dr Simon Longstaff, ANZ graduate Felix Ryan reflects on why he thinks young people are the future leaders responsible for driving change in financial services. 

The ethics of power dynamics… what would you do?

24 Mar 21
by Anonymous
Who - if anyone - should be responsible for providing refreshments to those attending a meeting?

The ethics of speaking up as a graduate… what would you do?

18 Mar 21
by The Banking and Finance Oath
As a graduate that joined a retail banking institution six months ago, you’re currently on rotation in the Learning and Development (L&D) team.

The ethics of sickies... what would you do?

09 Mar 21
by Anonymous
What is your view of sickies? Are they there to be used only when you're sick? Or is it ok to use them for a day off?

The ethics of confidentiality… what would you do?

25 Feb 21
by Anonymous
At a social event with people you know well, your friend Elena tells the story of a former colleague of hers - Tom - who was accused of sexual harassment about 10 years ago. Elena explains the matter was played down at the time, kept confidential by the organisation and there was no formal complaint or record.

The ethics of accountability… what would you do?

17 Feb 21
by Anonymous
You're the Head of Learning & Organisational Development in a medium sized general insurance company. The organisation recently rolled out 'Unconscious Bias' training to all middle managers. You've invested a significant amount of money in this training with a consultancy and now been asked by your CEO to report on it's impact, so it can be presented to the board.  You had discussed with the consultant at the time of engagement that there would be measures in place to report...

The ethics of speaking up… what would you do?

10 Feb 21
by Anonymous
You work in the finance department of a medium sized financial institution. It is end of month and employees across the organisation have submitted their monthly expense claims to you.

The ethics of disclosure and friendship... what would you do?

03 Feb 21
by Anonymous
You work in financial advice and have developed a friendship with one of your clients who is now applying for an insurance product. They allow you to start following them on their private Insta account. You come to realise they are fairly open about their lifestyle and regular recreational drug use on this particular social media platform, albeit a private profile. There is no judgement on your part – you have indulged in recreational drugs in the past yourself.

The ethics of living your career values … what would you do?

28 Jan 21
by Anonymous
You have recently joined a new organisation as the Head of Brand. It is a relatively new organisation. The leadership team have prioritised brand and feel it will play a key role in helping them stand out in a very competitive industry.

The ethics of measuring culture... what would you do?

20 Jan 21
by Anonymous
You are the Head of People and Culture in a medium sized organisation with around 1,200 employees. The organisation is beginning to get people back into the office. There is a general sense from your CEO and executive leadership team that productivity is dropping and with employees working remotely they are concerned about a drop in engagement. Following a recent employee engagement survey, the engagement score is the highest it’s ever been, despite people not being based in the...

The ethics of reskilling... what would you do?

14 Jan 21
by Anonymous
You’re the head of a department in a large financial institution. With automation changes swiftly coming into effect over the next two years, you’re aware there will be a number of redundancies to come. The timing of the redundancies, along with who will face it is still unknown.

Our 2020 highlights

16 Dec 20
by Jodi O'Callaghan, Executive Officer
2020 has been a year of challenges, but also opportunity. Looking back, there have been some highilghts. 

The ethics of workplace friendships… what would you do?

16 Dec 20
by Cris Parker
You’re the HR Manager of a regional bank with a number of branches in country Victoria. Friendships amongst employees in the organisation is inevitable given its size and most of them being locals in their communities.

The ethics of collaboration… what would you do?

02 Dec 20
by Anonymous
You have been working on a proposal with a colleague who is in the same team and junior to you. You’ve both put in a significant amount of work and you can see that your colleague is really extending themselves.

The ethics of internships.. what would you do?

26 Nov 20
by Jodi O'Callaghan
A recent graduate from a reputable university has been offered the opportunity to work with their dream organisation, reporting to you as the manager of the strategy division. Your organisation has a good reputation for giving graduates internships. But there's a catch.

The ethics of transgressions… what would you do?

19 Nov 20
by Anonymous
As the head of people and culture in a large financial institution, you’ve been given information by an individual regarding your behaviour.

The ethics of middle management… what would you do?

11 Nov 20
by Jodi O'Callaghan
With a workforce still largely working from home, middle managers are up against a whole new set of challenges, managing their teams in a remote setting while still delivering results to upper management.

The ethics of office relationships... what would you do?

04 Nov 20
by Anonymous
You are the head of your department in a large organisation and have a good relationship with the majority of your staff. As restrictions ease, your team is slowly returning to the office in a new world after working from home for several months. Since returning to the office on a regular basis you have noticed that a senior employee in a leadership role has been spending an increasing amount of time with a much younger member of your team. There are a lot of coffee breaks together and...

The ethics of rewards… what would you do?

28 Oct 20
by Anonymous
You are the member of an executive team and your role is to assign performance-based bonuses. Due to the extraordinary impact of Covid-19, the board has asked bonuses be forgone this year. The organisation has made a profit. Your team has worked extremely hard. You feel uncomfortable about not being able to provide them with the promised bonus. It seems unfair.

A chat with industry legend David Gonski

21 Oct 20
by Sarah Valente
As part of The BFO Young Ambassador Program, my fellow ambassadors and I have received many opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, experts on ethics and leaders in the banking and finance industry. I was honoured to have the opportunity to meet with ANZ’s outgoing Chairman, David Gonski and to speak with him on all things ethics and leadership.

The ethics of working remotely… what would you do?

21 Oct 20
by Anonymous
You’re a new risk analyst at an organisation, hired a few months into the onset of COVID-19 you start working from home immediately with the rest of your colleagues.

The ethics of social media... what would you do?

15 Oct 20
by Anonymous
As the manager of a small close-knit team in a large financial services institution, one of your team members has made you aware the new employee in your team has a sexually explicit Instagram account, and others in the broader business division are gossiping about this individual.

Surviving and Thriving during Covid-19

29 Sep 20
by Chris Young and Gordon Young
It is not news to say that Melbourne has fared poorly during the pandemic. The sudden onset of a second wave, dwarfing the first in severity and plunging us suddenly from a relaxed level 2 lockdown all the way to a level 4, complete with curfew, all took a toll.

The ethics of profitability... what would you do?

29 Sep 20
by Anonymous
You are an Executive General Manager in a large financial institution. There are some changes in the pipeline for the business and the board is mostly in support of them. The changes will benefit a majority of customers, but not the entire customer base.

Virtue signalling is virtuous

29 Sep 20
by Neil Levy
The accusation of virtue signalling is typically understood as a serious charge. Those accused usually respond (if not by an admission of fault) by attempting to show that they are doing no such thing. In this paper, I argue that we ought to embrace the charge, rather than angrily reject it. I argue that this response can draw support from cognitive science, on the one hand, and from social epistemology on the other. I claim that we may appropriately concede that what we are doing is (inter alia) virtue signalling, because virtue signalling is morally appropriate. It neither expresses vices, nor is hypocritical, nor does it degrade the quality of public moral discourse. Signalling our commitment to norms is a central and justifiable function of moral discourse, and the same signals provide (higher-order) evidence that is appropriately taken into account in forming moral beliefs.

The ethics of procurement… What would you do?

23 Sep 20
by Anonymous
You are an experienced business banker and been approached by an established small-to-medium business looking to move their business banking.

The ethics of negotiation… what would you do?

16 Sep 20
by Anonymous
You are the CFO of a large retail property organisation that owns a number of shopping malls across the country. Given the sizeable food courts in each property, a larger portion of your tenants are small business owners operating eateries within the food courts.
Total 147 articles in this section.
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The Oath

  • Trust is the foundation of my profession.
  • I will serve all interests in good faith.
  • I will compete with honour.
  • I will pursue my ends with ethical restraint.
  • I will help create a sustainable future.
  • I will help create a more just society.
  • I will speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same.
  • I will accept responsibility for my actions.

In these and all other matters;
My word is my bond.

The Vision

A banking and finance industry that meets the community’s needs and has its full confidence thereby fulfilling its integral role in society.