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.

Background

The Banking and Finance Oath is founded on a shared belief in the inherent ‘good’ of the banking and finance industry. However, various surveys have indicated persistently low levels of public trust in the integrity and ethical standards of those who are in the industry. The Oath is an effort to improve the society by building trust and confidence in the industry through re-asserting the moral and ethical foundation of the industry beyond regulation, compliance and any professional standards and by broadening expectations and discussion to include ethics, integrity, honesty and trust.

Importantly the Banking and Finance Oath was a project facilitated by The Ethics Centre (a registered charity) and is an industry-led initiative. In 2009, Clare Payne, in her role as Associate Director of the Integrity Office of Macquarie Bank and as a voluntary Consulting Fellow with the Ethics Centre, wrote to leaders of the Banking and Finance Industry at the CEO, Chair and Board level. Industry leaders were overwhelmingly interested in discussing the moral and ethics of the industry and had many ideas on how trust and confidence in the industry could be enhanced, and in some sectors restored.

A Report was produced and industry leaders voted on the initiatives they wished to see established. The Banking and Finance Ethics Panel was formed in 2010 with representatives from Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Rothschild, Morgan Stanley, AMP Capital, MLC and Westpac. The Banking and Finance Oath is the founding initiative of the Panel.

The Ethics Centre acts as an independent advisory to the Banking and Finance Oath. Dr Simon Longstaff, Executive Director of The Ethics Centre holds a position on The BFO Board and assisted in wording of The Oath.

Ethics in Banking and Finance Report, 2009


The Banking and Finance Ethics Panel

The Banking and Finance Ethics Panel was established in 2010 by leaders from the banking and finance industry led by the Ethics Centre's Consulting Fellow for Ethics in Banking and Finance, Clare Payne.

The Banking and Finance Ethics Panel comprised:
  • Stephen Fitzgerald, formerly Chief Executive Officer, Goldman Sachs
  • Steven Harker, Chief Executive & Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
  • Stephen Dunne, Managing Director, AMP Capital
  • David Cohen, Group General Counsel, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Trevor Rowe AO, Executive Chairman, Rothschild Australia
  • Steve Tucker, Chief Executive Officer, MLC
  • David Bell, formerly Group General Counsel, Westpac Banking Corporation
  • Dr Simon Longstaff, Executive Director, The Ethics Centre
  • Clare Payne, Consulting Fellow, The Ethics Centre and former Director of the Integrity Office of Macquarie Bank
  • Amanda McCluskey,  Senior Investment Manager and Co-Head of Sustainable Funds, First State Stewart Asia Pacific , Singapore

The Banking and Finance Oath Limited is the first initiative of the Banking and Finance Ethics Panel.

Dr Simon Longstaff, Executive Director, The Ethics Centre, drafted The BFO after discussions with the members of the panel. The views of each panel member were sought with the final wording agreed upon in February 2011.