As the world economy will soon have to start rebuilding from ground zero, it’s a really good time to reflect and ask… what do we want this new edifice of life to look like? I hope that by sharing my story, I might help shape your answer to this very question.
Emerging from the turbulence of COVID-19, we have the opportunity to escape the hold of our past and use moral imagination to explore a better future.
Just as the post-Hayne dust was settling, and before the financial services industry had time to catch its collective breath, a serious new challenge has emerged shining an even more dramatic spotlight on its role in a distrusting community – the wildfire spread of, and the global economic/societal response to, the Coronavirus.
Since the Covid-19 crisis hit, Australia’s financial institutions have had to divert a lot of resources and focus their efforts on addressing the challenges they face. They’ve also had to adapt quickly to accommodate their customer’s changing financial needs. But has their response to the pandemic been enough to rouse respect from the community they serve and rekindle a trust that has been lost?
Compliance can’t be in every situation all of the time. Every decision can’t be monitored, nor should we want it to be. The purpose of The Banking and Finance Oath (The BFO) is to encourage self-reflection and values-driven decision making.
There will still be situations where behaviour is not in line with the values of an organisation and it’s important to question when you see this. You just have to look at #ToiletPaperGate to see behaviour can be driven by self-interest, when the circumstances permit, whether we realise it or not.
The broader example of hoarding is an example of fear driving unthinking practice. The BFO encourages individuals to ‘call out wrongdoing and support others who do the same’. However, situations will still arise, where organisations will rely on a whistle-blower speaking up. Bad behaviour still happens during a crisis.
We spoke to a whistle-blower from the financial services industry who explains why speaking up is as important as ever in these challenging times.
A senior executive alarms his CEO when he starts making out-of-character decisions that reflect his personal fears. Teams are frozen into indecision as the ground continually shifts beneath them. Your days are punctuated with emotional meltdowns from people you have always relied upon in a crisis.
As exhausting as this sounds, it is currently all too familiar. These are some of the signs that the prolonged impact of Covid-19 is causing moral fatigue in the people around you.
As people around the world grapple with this extremely challenging time, never has it been more important for individuals to pull together as citizens to make the greatest impact in the face of this unfolding COVID-19 crisis.
Social distancing by working from home means a disparate workforce and a completely new way of working for many of us. Technology is enabling the ‘show to go...
Life insurance offers financial security to loved ones left behind following the loss of a family member. It can be a difficult subject to broach at the best of times, but in times of crisis it can be even harder, albeit reassuring to know you have it.
But what if you don’t?
Working in customer service for a large life insurance organisation you receive a call from a prospective client wanting to purchase life insurance. They are not considered high risk in the...
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) defines conduct risk as “the risk of inappropriate, unethical or unlawful behaviour on the part of an organisation’s management or employees”.
At its heart, the definition recognises conduct risk is a product of ethical blindness: a failure to see important aspects of the ethical landscape of banking.
"You would hope the interests of consumers, the integrity of financial markets and the...
A system red flag has popped up to alert you of a transaction by a customer that looks out of the ordinary of her usual transactions, particularly given the country the money will be received. What you uncover leaves you questioning what the right thing to do is in this situation.
You work in financial advice and have good a relationship with a number of your clients. You are Executor of the Will for one of your long-standing clients who passed away recently.
You are the line manager for a team of people in your company in the finance sector. One of your key staff members is excellent at her job and is known for her ability to generate a high amount of income for the company - none of your other staff members come close to her in terms of this...
The ethics of managing people... What would you do?
Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash
You are the head of your department in a large organisation and have a good relationship with the majority of your staff.
Recently you noticed that one of your senior female employees - a married woman - has been making advances towards a junior male employee.
There is no indication of harassment, but a lot of coffee breaks together and subsequently the productivity of both parties...
It’s the festive season and you’re attending the usual amount of social events at this time of year – catching up with colleagues and industry peers at each one.
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.
You work in wealth management, advising on, monitoring and updating the investments and superannuation of clients, some of whom carry joint investments and receive services together as a couple - like Leo and Isabelle*.
To date, Leo and Isabelle have always come to the office seeking advice and making decisions together. But this week you received a call... just from Leo.
You are a fixed income portfolio manager who works as part of a close, high performing team that invests the assets of large institutional clients.
Addressing the errors of the past can’t depend solely on the law. In today’s business environment, initiatives that encourage self-reflection and accountability deserve a healthy dose of scepticism but cynicism will only serve to stifle the potential.
U Ethical has undergone an exhaustive process over the last twelve months, seeking to bring to the fore what is important to our people and our clients. This has been built around the principal of delivering competitive investment returns while doing the right thing by communities and the planet.
Living an authentic life. One with purpose, in which you are conscious of and being true to your personal values is what many of us strive for.
So how does this translate to our professional lives? There are those that find giving back is key for what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning or fulfil them in their day to day work. For others, it is about understanding how their personal values align with an organisation’s values and purpose, and how they can make a difference through that purpose.
You work in financial advice and have developed a friendly relationship with one of your clients who is now applying for an insurance product.
You work as a financial advisor. Recently, one of your clients suffered a back injury that would effectively prevent him from carrying out his normal work as a plumber – the job he has had his whole life. You know that in theory, your client should be able to access Total Permanent Disability Insurance (TPD).
This week’s dilemma sees a financial institution facing the dilemma of whether or not to lend, and support a brothel's payment systems.
It can be a tricky space finding yourself wanting to push back against those in a higher position than you, and can take great moral courage to speak up.
You work at an advice business that is just starting a program to repay customers that may have been overcharged for advice services or for poor advice.
8 August 2019
Wayne Byres, Chairman – Crossroads: The 2019 Banking and Finance Oath Conference, Sydney
Good morning. I am very pleased to be part of this event, and to lend my support to the Banking & Finance Oath and to Finsia, both of whom are playing important and timely roles highlighting the importance of trust and professionalism for a successful financial sector.
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.
Exploring middle management at The BFO conference in 2016 was impossible, 2019 was not a lot easier. Whether they're considered the curator or custodian of culture, middle managers are pivotal to putting cultural change into action.
Why then are they often left out of the conversation?
During a thought provoking day at the recent BFO | FINSIA Conference, our photographer captured some candid moments amongst speakers and attendees.
As young people forging their careers in financial services, The Banking and Finance Oath’s (The BFO) Young Ambassadors are the future leaders advocating for a stronger ethical foundation in the industry. On Thursday 8 August 2019, four of The BFO’s six young ambassadors attended Crossroads – The BFO | FINSIA Conference looking at how ethics can help navigate the challenges facing individuals in the industry. The following summary provides their key take outs from each session of the day.
By Dani Simpson, Rabobank and Alex Green, The University of Sydney | Westpac
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