Articles & Dilemmas


The ethics of workplace friendships

28 Oct 21
by The BFO
You’re the HR Manager of a regional bank with a number of branches in country Victoria. Friendships amongst employees in the organisation is inevitable given its size and most of them being locals in their communities.

The ethics of quotas

19 Oct 21
by 2021 BFO Young Ambassador
Some leaders and organisations are all for quotas to support diversity. Others think a merit-based approach is better...

The ethics of honesty and moving jobs

06 Oct 21
by 2021 BFO Young Ambassador
You’re part of a high performing team of software developers at a 'Big 4' bank and your skillset is hard to replace.

Why did risk management fail at Credit Suisse?

28 Sep 21
by Rhizome Advisory Group
Culture is a fundamental area that still requires greater focus, especially if businesses want to be successful in delivering for their customers and other stakeholders. Boards should be taking proactive steps to require further uplifts in capabilities to assess and address cultural characteristics that do not support the effective management of risks. Regulators continue to look for evidenced understanding of root cause, including cultural factors, in issues and incidents. In this article, Rhizome takes a closer look at why risk management failed at Credit Suisse. From culture, the three lines of defence and accountability, they pose the very valid questions: How and why was the voice of risk once again weakened? 

The ethics of bonuses

21 Sep 21
by 2021 BFO Young Ambassador
You’re an investment operations analyst working in a large bank. You notice that one of the FX traders is placing very large bets...

The ethics of accepting credit for others work

15 Sep 21
by BFO 2021 Young Ambassador
You’re a member of a high performing team in a financial services company. The team is made up of 10 staff and three project managers (one of whom is Mary). The three project managers report to the Head of Projects.
Pic of woman lying in field

The ethics of productivity and culture

07 Sep 21
by 2021 BFO Young Ambassador
You’re the CEO of a large organisation. A large portion of your workforce has shifted to working from home during the COVID pandemic. During this, you’ve gained some great efficiencies, but equally you’ve heard reports of employees who have been doing things other than work during work hours...

The ethics of choice

02 Sep 21
by Anonymous
You’ve been working for six years in a retail bank in the same role with limited career progression. Realising your career growth is limited in this role, you recently applied for a role with a different organisation that will see you take a significant leap in your career, and higher salary. You were so excited at the new prospect you signed the contract last week....

The ethics of green technology

27 Aug 21
by 2021 BFO Young Ambassador
You're a new relationship manager at a business bank. You  applied for the role on the basis of the organisation’s clear ESG focus and strong commitment to supporting growing businesses in the renewables and electric vehicle space. One of your new clients - a growing electric vehicle manufacturer - is seeking a loan to expand its operations so that electric vehicles may be more widely available in Australia.
Children homeschooling

The ethics of juggling lockdown with children

19 Aug 21
by BFO 2021 Young Ambassador
You’re currently working with a colleague who you have a strong relationship with on a fast-paced project. They’ve confided in you that they’ve been struggling recently managing their workload and their increased caring duties at home during lock-down.

The ethics of vaccinations and employers

11 Aug 21
by 2021 BFO Young Ambassador
You've just moved to a new middle management role at a large financial institution. The organisation has recently released an initiative requiring all employees to receive a vaccination.
Photograph of an extremely cluttered office.

The ethics of wills... what would you do?

04 Aug 21
by Cris Parker
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.

The ethics of big data

27 Jul 21
by Anonymous
You’re a graduate and have been rotated to the data analytics team at a retail bank. The team you’ll be working with have done some work putting historical datasets into an AI tool to identify a customer cohort that would be a fruitful customer base to market a new home loan rate to.

The ethics of adhering to company policy

22 Jul 21
by Anonymous
Two employees in your team, Alex and Jesse are in a relationship. They have disclosed their personal relationships in accordance with company policy which permits relationships between employees of equal standing but has a zero tolerance rule against relationships between superiors and their direct reports.

The ethics of productivity... what would you do?

14 Jul 21
by Anonymous
You work in the Change and Communications team for a large financial institution that is moving to a hybrid working model. Your manager has informed your team of a confidential organisational project underway...

The ethics of reputation

30 Jun 21
by Anonymous
You’re a loan officer working in a large financial institution and a loan application has landed on your desk from a new customer. You recognise the name of this high-profile individual who is ‘allegedly’ part of a drug cartel...

The ethics of conflicts

24 Jun 21
by Anonymous
You’re leading an important project to secure a tender worth a significant amount of money to your financial institution.

The ethics of confidentiality in a new role

16 Jun 21
by Anonymous
You are the newest (and youngest) employee to join a boutique wealth management company. The person you are replacing (Antonio) was poached by a competitor and didn’t leave a lot of time to handover.
Photo of chickens behind a caged fence

The ethics of commercial lending... what would you do?

09 Jun 21
by Anonymous
You’re a middle manager, working in commercial lending at a bank. The organisation is very purpose and values driven and focussed on sustainability and ethical practices.

The ethics of procurement.. what would you do?

26 May 21
by Anonymous
You are the Head of Procurement at a health insurance company and Ingrid – a high performing employee who has been in her role for two months and reports to you - has come to you to make you aware of some action she took recently to secure a contract.

The ethics of supplier relationships... what would you do?

19 May 21
by Anonymous
Should drinking alcohol be a requirement if you work for an alcohol retailer and manage supplier relationships?

The ethics of changing culture... what would you do?

12 May 21
by Anonymous
To keep or change the organisational culture?

The ethics of bringing your whole self to work... what would you do?

05 May 21
by Anonymous
Should an organisation that supports employees bringing their whole selves to work take in to account an individual's view, if it means they won't endorse an organisational priority?

The ethics of recruitment... what would you do?

28 Apr 21
by HR Manager (Anonymous)
When it comes to job interviews, it's not just the recruiter's opportunity to grill the candidate, but the candidate's opportunity to grill the recruiter. This allows the candidate to gain as much information as possible to make an informed decision that is right for them personally and professionally. But how transparent are recruiters expected - or able - to be when it comes to tough questions from the candidate? 

The ethics of language... what would you do?

22 Apr 21
by Jodi O'Callaghan
Raising consciousness about the use of language is about finding ways to engage everyone and being respectful. So what would you do when language used by colleagues in the workplace makes you feel uncomfortable?

The ethics of performance management

14 Apr 21
by Anonymous
Many of us experience personal tragedy at some time in our lives. To what extent it impacts us is different for everyone. But what happens when it starts impacting your performance at work? 

Message from Dr Simon Longstaff, Executive Director of The Ethics Centre

30 Mar 21
by Dr Simon Longstaff
The decision by the Board of The BFO to reintegrate the organisation into its spiritual home, The Ethics Centre, provides a wonderful opportunity to build on over three decades of work that began with the launch of the Centre in 1989.

Now is the time to embrace and embed ethics

30 Mar 21
by Pauline Vamos on behalf of The BFO Board
Having been on the Board of The BFO since 2013 and now seeing The BFO return to its spiritual home at The Ethics Centre, Pauline Vamos outlines what the industry needs to do next to ensure ethics is embedded at both the organisational and individual level.

The ethics of workplace giving… what would you do?

30 Mar 21
by Anonymous
Your workplace has hit the fundraising target it set out to achieve and there is a surplus of funds over and above the target. The head of the fundraising committee who is your branch manager would like to take the group out to celebrate, using some of the surplus funds... 

Young people are the true agents of change

30 Mar 21
by Felix Ryan, ANZ Graduate
After attending an introductory ethics session with his fellow graduates and Dr Simon Longstaff, ANZ graduate Felix Ryan reflects on why he thinks young people are the future leaders responsible for driving change in financial services. 
Total 200 articles in this section.
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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.