Articles & Dilemmas

 

This is no time to let things slide

27 Apr 20
by Cris Parker, The Banking and Finance Oath
Compliance can’t be in every situation all of the time. Every decision can’t be monitored, nor should we want it to be. The purpose of The Banking and Finance Oath (The BFO) is to encourage self-reflection and values-driven decision making. There will still be situations where behaviour is not in line with the values of an organisation and it’s important to question when you see this. You just have to look at #ToiletPaperGate to see behaviour can be driven by self-interest, when the circumstances permit, whether we realise it or not. The broader example of hoarding is an example of fear driving unthinking practice. The BFO encourages individuals to ‘call out wrongdoing and support others who do the same’. However, situations will still arise, where organisations will rely on a whistle-blower speaking up. Bad behaviour still happens during a crisis. We spoke to a whistle-blower from the financial services industry who explains why speaking up is as important as ever in these challenging times.

Moral fatigue: Making decisions when there is no right answer

21 Apr 20
by Cris Parker, Director, The BFO and Head of The Ethics Alliance
A senior executive alarms his CEO when he starts making out-of-character decisions that reflect his personal fears. Teams are frozen into indecision as the ground continually shifts beneath them. Your days are punctuated with emotional meltdowns from people you have always relied upon in a crisis. As exhausting as this sounds, it is currently all too familiar. These are some of the signs that the prolonged impact of Covid-19 is causing moral fatigue in the people around you.

Engaging our leadership, values and humanity

25 Mar 20
by Jodi O'Callaghan, Executive Officer
As people around the world grapple with this extremely challenging time, never has it been more important for individuals to pull together as citizens to make the greatest impact in the face of this unfolding COVID-19 crisis.     Social distancing by working from home means a disparate workforce and a completely new way of working for many of us. Technology is enabling the ‘show to go...

The ethics of life insurance at times of crisis

23 Mar 20
by Jodi O'Callaghan
Life insurance offers financial security to loved ones left behind following the loss of a family member. It can be a difficult subject to broach at the best of times, but in times of crisis it can be even harder, albeit reassuring to know you have it. But what if you don’t? Working in customer service for a large life insurance organisation you receive a call from a prospective client wanting to purchase life insurance. They are not considered high risk in the...

Avoiding ethical blindness

17 Mar 20
by Simon Longstaff, Executive Director, The Ethics Centre
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) defines conduct risk as “the risk of inappropriate, unethical or unlawful behaviour on the part of an organisation’s management or employees”.  At its heart, the definition recognises conduct risk is a product of ethical blindness: a failure to see important aspects of the ethical landscape of banking. "You would hope the interests of consumers, the integrity of financial markets and the...
Image of a sign saying Love and Money

The ethics of romance scams... what would you do?

04 Mar 20
by Anonymous
A system red flag has popped up to alert you of a transaction by a customer that looks out of the ordinary of her usual transactions, particularly given the country the money will be received. What you uncover leaves you questioning what the right thing to do is in this situation.
Photograph of a person using a laptop to lodge an expense claim on a wooden desk, by Fabian Irsara on Unsplash

The ethics of expense claims... what would you do?

12 Feb 20
You are the line manager for a team of people in your company in the finance sector. One of your key staff members is excellent at her job and is known for her ability to generate a high amount of income for the company - none of your other staff members come close to her in terms of this...

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

04 Dec 19
by Jodi O'Callaghan
It’s the festive season and you’re attending the usual amount of social events at this time of year – catching up with colleagues and industry peers at each one.

The ethics of client service.... what would you do?

20 Nov 19
by Anonymous
You work in wealth management, advising on, monitoring and updating the investments and superannuation of clients, some of whom carry joint investments and receive services together as a couple - like Leo and Isabelle*. To date, Leo and Isabelle have always come to the office seeking advice and making decisions together. But this week you received a call... just from Leo.

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

14 Nov 19
by Simon Watson
You are a fixed income portfolio manager who works as part of a close, high performing team that invests the assets of large institutional clients.

Why trust-building strategies should get the benefit of the doubt

By Cris Parker
Addressing the errors of the past can’t depend solely on the law. In today’s business environment, initiatives that encourage self-reflection and accountability deserve a healthy dose of scepticism but cynicism will only serve to stifle the potential.

Bringing people and planet to the fore at U Ethical

By James Cook, CIO
U Ethical has undergone an exhaustive process over the last twelve months, seeking to bring to the fore what is important to our people and our clients. This has been built around the principal of delivering competitive investment returns while doing the right thing by communities and the planet.

Is it possible to live an authentic life 24/7?

By Jodi O'Callaghan
Living an authentic life. One with purpose, in which you are conscious of and being true to your personal values is what many of us strive for. So how does this translate to our professional lives? There are those that find giving back is key for what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning or fulfil them in their day to day work. For others, it is about understanding how their personal values align with an organisation’s values and purpose, and how they can make a difference through that purpose.

The ethics of disclosure

17 Oct 19
by Anonymous
You work in financial advice and have developed a friendly relationship with one of your clients who is now applying for an insurance product.

The ethics of monetary gifts

By Sarah Kennedy
You work as a financial advisor. Recently, one of your clients suffered a back injury that would effectively prevent him from carrying out his normal work as a plumber – the job he has had his whole life. You know that in theory, your client should be able to access Total Permanent Disability Insurance (TPD).

The ethics of lending

By Anonymous
This week’s dilemma sees a financial institution facing the dilemma of whether or not to lend, and support a brothel's payment systems.

The ethics of speaking up

By Jodi O'Callaghan
It can be a tricky space finding yourself wanting to push back against those in a higher position than you, and can take great moral courage to speak up.

The ethics of remediation

12 Sep 19
by Anonymous
You work at an advice business that is just starting a program to repay customers that may have been overcharged for advice services or for poor advice.

Is self-regulation dead?

05 Sep 19
by Wayne Byres, APRA Chairman
8 August 2019

Wayne Byres, Chairman – Crossroads: The 2019 Banking and Finance Oath Conference, Sydney

Good morning. I am very pleased to be part of this event, and to lend my support to the Banking & Finance Oath and to Finsia, both of whom are playing important and timely roles highlighting the importance of trust and professionalism for a successful financial sector.

The Invisible Middle

31 Aug 19
by Cris Parker
Exploring middle management at The BFO conference in 2016 was impossible, 2019 was not a lot easier. Whether they're considered the curator or custodian of culture, middle managers are pivotal to putting cultural change into action.

Why then are they often left out of the conversation?

Photo gallery of The BFO | FINSIA Crossroads Conference

20 Aug 19
by Jodi O'Callaghan
During a thought provoking day at the recent BFO | FINSIA Conference, our photographer captured some candid moments amongst speakers and attendees.

The BFO Young Ambassadors wrap up The BFO | FINSIA Crossroads Conference

19 Aug 19
by By Dani Simpson, Rabobank and Alex Green, The University of Sydney | Westpac
As young people forging their careers in financial services, The Banking and Finance Oath’s (The BFO) Young Ambassadors are the future leaders advocating for a stronger ethical foundation in the industry. On Thursday 8 August 2019, four of The BFO’s six young ambassadors attended Crossroads – The BFO | FINSIA Conference looking at how ethics can help navigate the challenges facing individuals in the industry. The following summary provides their key take outs from each session of the day.

By Dani Simpson, Rabobank and Alex Green, The University of Sydney | Westpac

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

18 Aug 19
by Anonymous
This week's ethical dilemma looks at the challenges middle managers are up against on a regular basis and the tensions they need to manage.

Some in our financial sector stand at a crossroad. The right choice couldn't be clearer.

14 Aug 19
by Karen Walker
If you missed The Banking and Finance Oath's Crossroads conference Karen Walkerhas provided a clear snapshot of many of the conversations with her only regret being that more people weren't in the room to hear it.

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

25 Jul 19
by Anonymous
‘I will speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same’.
We regularly hear from signatories that this can be one of the most confronting tenets of the Oath... but also the most empowering. This week’s dilemma will likely spark debate in your office – which we encourage!

A guiding compass through career progression

23 Jul 19
by Christina Wu
Now a Strategy and Transformation Analyst at Westpac, BFO Young Ambassador Christina Wu recalls her days as a Univeristy of Sydney student and the words from her Dean that 'doing business and doing good' should not be mutually exclusive. It is a statement that continues to guide her decision-making process as she progresses in her career.

The Banking and Finance Royal Commission: Will this time be different?

18 Jul 19
by Leslie Cannold, PhD (Education), Master Bioethics, B.S (Psychology)
By Leslie Cannold, PhD (Education), Master Bioethics, B.S (Psychology)

The imputations of Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report on the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry were blistering. The Banking and Finance industry are led and staffed by the greedy who are more than willing and able to exploit the needy.

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

18 Jul 19
Victor is an up-and-coming manager at ABC Bank, a large retail bank. Victor reports directly to Robert, the regional manager, who also happens to be a close friend from uni. Robert has been at the bank longer than Victor, but there is some talk within the organisation that his numbers have been falling behind.

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

09 Jul 19
by Anthony Asher
A company is going through the interview process in order to hire a chief financial officer. In the last interview session, each of three finalists is given the company's financial data and asked by the CEO, ‘What are the net earnings?’

To the young people of banking and finance: please seize the opportunity and break the shackles of conformity

04 Jul 19
by Dr Simon Longstaff
By Dr Simon Longstaff

To my mind, Kenneth Hayne was to the banking and finance industry what a building surveyor is to a rickety house. He ripped off the gleaming cladding to reveal cracked foundations, some rotten beams and a few broken tiles that let in the rain.
Total 182 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.