The ethics of financial literacy… what would you do?

Wednesday 24 June, 2020
by By David Goldfeld, UBank + BFO Young Ambassador

You work for a subsidiary of a large financial institution and you are meeting a new customer for the first time, who recently inherited a significant amount of money. The customer wants a better understanding of how a relationship with a planner works and what are the expectations of both you and them. 

In this meeting, your customer emphasises their passion for climate action, volunteering and other social impact initiatives and makes it clear they would like all financial decisions to align with their ethical values. You ask your customer what they know about ethical investing and discover their knowledge is limited, and family and friends have told them that investing ethically is a quick way to lose money. The money doesn’t seem to be as important to them as the opportunity they realise they now have to make an impact. 

Although the financial institution you work for does offer some socially responsible products you know there are other institutions out there that will better suit their needs. 

What would you do?

  • What is your duty in this situation? To your organisation? To your customer?
  • Do you take your own values in to consideration?

We encourage you to post your answers in the comments so we can create a healthy discussion, with the aim of learning from our peers, becoming aware of differing perspectives and challenging our own biases. 

If you would like to submit an ethical dilemma to feature in an upcoming weekly challenge please email: dilemma@thebfo.org - we are happy to post it anonymously. 

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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.