Returning from my summer break I use the opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed and the year ahead. Like many large organisations Bendigo and Adelaide Bank faces both opportunities and challenges, with the holiday period delivering a valuable and fresh perspective.
One method that has proved helpful to me, is to view the milestones achieved and those on the road ahead through the lens of the Banking and Finance Oath, an initiative for banking and finance professionals who take pride in their work and actively encourage a strong ethical framework and positive culture within their workplace.
At Bendigo and Adelaide Bank acting ethically is central to who we are and what we do. We place a strong emphasis on authenticity in our organisation and acting in the best interests of our customers is a big part of this.
While acting ethically is in our DNA, taking the opportunity to pause and review our successes and goals within the framework provided by the oath can be a helpful way of making sure you are on the right track.
The first three pledges from the oath are focused on trust, acting in good faith and with honour. These attributes are the bedrock for any lasting and honest relationship, financial or otherwise.
With origins dating back to the 1850’s goldrush, our bank has a long track record of helping our customers build a secure future and making communities stronger. At the time a group of miners and traders who wanted to make their home permanently and encourage others to do the same, set up the Bendigo Land and Building Society.
Our purpose of feeding into the prosperity of the community stays true to these origins and reminds us of the important role banks continue to play.
But reputations that are built over decades can be destroyed in moments. That’s why it’s important to accept responsibility for our actions, another key pledge from the Oath. We don’t always get it right so we need to acknowledge what’s taken place and make amends. We also need to take steps to ensure it won’t happen again.
Our regional roots are well known. We’re committed to making sure Australians living outside the major metropolitan areas have access to services as good if not better than capital cities.
That’s part of a just society - another element of the oath - and underpins our network of over 300 community bank branches where $272 million in profits have been reinvested into the community to date.
Our social enterprise partners leverage this with government funding to pay for projects and initiatives that improve the sustainability and liveability of communities across Australia.
The last pledge from the Oath is your word is your bond.
We are there for our customers in good times and bad. Our support of customers through the pandemic with loan payment deferrals and fee waivers are just the most recent example of how we have always supported our customers through the cycle.
Acting ethically isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good business.
Satisfied customers do more of their business with you and refer others. That’s why our bank has the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS) of any listed Australian Bank, a figure which measures how likely a customer is to recommend your products and services to others.
As we prepare for another year of work and changes to the way we work, think of taking the Oath like checking the alignment of your tires or making sure your home office is comfortable and fit for purpose. It’s an opportunity to make sure you are operating at your peak.
I’m proud of the work we do at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and I’m proud to be a signatory of the Banking and Finance Oath. I encourage everybody who feels the same to sign up and take the Oath.