Why I joined the BFO - it's a matter of trust
Thursday 5 December, 2013
With over 25 years of experience in financial services, Steve Tucker reminds us that the banking and finance industry looks after real people’s hopes and dreams and has a major influence on the wellbeing and security of individuals. In light of this, he stresses the need for trust at the heart of the profession. He writes that negative perceptions and distrust regarding the industry can, and should, be dispelled through each professional’s commitment to ethical practice and the BFO community.
Over my 25 year career in financial services, I have always been very concerned about ensuring that above all else, our clients could trust that we are working in their interests. Whether it’s the products we offer, the services we deliver or the advice we give, ensuring trust is maintained has to be a central part of the decisions we make and the work we do.
In financial services, we are in the business of looking after people’s hopes and dreams. I know the power of paying an insurance claim when things go wrong. I know the power of good advice in helping people retire with a better chance of doing the things they’ve always wanted to do. I know the power of providing the resources businesses need to grow, the power of providing jobs and building a stronger future. We do all these things and many more – and we do them well.
So I asked myself the question – why don’t people put more trust in us and the work we do?
I joined the movement started by the banking and finance oath to make sure that we, the custodians of trust in our industry, don’t stand by and watch the already fragile trust we have left in the financial services industry slip away.
It’s not just what happened in the GFC. It’s the feeling I get when I talk people who just don’t think we always do the right thing. It annoys me, because I know the vast majority of those who work in financial services will always do the right thing. I know that in the end, the only way for any individual or organisation to be successful over time is by doing the right thing.
So I asked myself the question – What can we do about it?
The BFO is essentially a few words and phrases that make a statement to those willing to listen. It says you can trust what I am doing and how I’m doing it and I won’t stand by and watch somebody else do the wrong thing. That’s all it is. But if many of us join together by agreeing with those words, then it becomes a movement and I think that changes everything.
The BFO gives all of us a chance to be part of this movement that puts trust at the centre of our industry again. By signing the oath and joining this movement, we can work together to restore trust in our industry.
I think it takes the personal commitment of many people to create a movement. We can do it, because I know there are thousands of people who want to be recognised and trusted for the work they do today, and they are prepared to accept their role in ensuring we have a trusted future together.
To me the oath is a chance for me to take a stand, to be part of a movement that understands the challenges we face in both maintaining and building trust in what we do, and to let people know that we won’t take their trust for granted.
And I hope many more within the industry will feel the same way.