Although the Oath is taken by the individual, there are occasions where an organisation will ask all employees to consider taking the Oath, thus becoming 100% committed. This process provides an opportunity for the entire organisation to consider the alignment between their own values and those of the organisation. It provides a common ethical framework with which they can hold each other to account. Heartland Senior Finance made this commitment and it allowed for self-reflection on what a 'sustainable future' means to them.
Why Heartland joined the Banking and Finance Oath
I first heard of and joined the Banking and Finance Oath in September 2015. What I appreciated about the Banking and Finance Oath is that they believe financial services does ‘good’ in the community and is integral to society. I see what we do at Heartland Seniors Finance as improving the lives of our customers, and agreeing to do it in the right way, ethically and responsibly, aligned with what we do as a company.
Because of this alignment, we decided to invite all staff to take the oath in July this year. We did not want it to be a token decision so, as well as discussing at team meetings; I personally met with each before they took the oath to answer any questions. All agreed with all of the commitments made in the pledge.
One interesting question that came up was regarding how the affirmation “I will create a sustainable future” applied to offering reverse mortgages. Though we don’t offer credit in relation to environmentally sustainable (or non-sustainable) businesses or services, this was an excellent question and showed the level of thought and care our team had when taking the Oath. Looking at this question from Heartland’s perspective, sustainability has two key pillars:
- through suitably lending we enable our customers to stay in their homes and sustain their place in their community, maintaining wellbeing; and
- by taking our duty of care seriously, and lending in a respectful and ethical way, we are running a sustainable business and creating a sustainable future.
Heartland Seniors Finance became 100% committed in August 2017, and invite new staff to take the Oath when they commence.