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17
May
17
Posted by:
Clare Payne, Director The Banking and Finance Oath

The Business Case: The long road to proving ethics pays

A business case that ignores social issues is no case at all. The business case has not traditionally included the ethical rationale or the moral justification. Fortunately, making the business case for ethics is getting easier.
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17
May
17
Posted by:
Naomi Burley, Managing Director, GRCI

The Ethical Beginnings of Compliance

Factors such as complexity and sophistication of products and services, distribution channels, customer demands and unprecedented advances in technology have resulted in increased political and regulatory intervention into business. GRC professionals are at the forefront of these changes and can contribute as a culture change agent. 

Naomi Burley, MD GRC Institute has a look at how compliance and an Oath can go hand in hand.
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10
May
17
Posted by:
Clare Payne, Director The Banking and Finance Oath

Limited Language – Big Blind Spots: How the language of business has skewed our moral compass

The language of business talks of cost-benefit-analysis rather than what is right, resources rather than people and economic drivers rather than ethical dilemmas. The language of business and finance is about what can be measured. It’s loaded with acronyms, abstractions and war references. Most notably, the language of business and finance is devoid of the ‘language of ethics’ – allowing us to ignore our moral compass all together. 

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09
May
17
Posted by:
Paul Kearns, Chair The Maturity Institute

Raising the level of maturity in banking and finance – An introduction to the Maturity Institute

While working their Banking Governance & Culture Project, the Maturity Institute in the UK came accross National Australia Bank (NAB) and in turn The Banking and Finance Oath. 
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19
Dec
16
Posted by:
Tim Gorst

Renaissance of the Effective Professional

Tim Gorst, Actuary and BFO Signatory, tells us about the increasing focus on risk culture in financial services and the role of the effective professional.

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29
Nov
16
Posted by:
Clare Payne, Director The Banking and Finance Oath

Snowflakes amongst the permafrost

What role do middle=management play in creating ethical work cultures?

People often view human behaviour in one of two ways. They either see humans as motivated, almost purely, by self-interest or they believe we are inherently humane creatures, concerned for others.
The world abounds with examples of the former (self-interest), particularly in the business world and even more so in banking and finance. I remain hopeful however that more of us operate according to the latter. 
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11
Nov
16
Posted by:
Clare Payne, Director The Banking and Finance Oath

Word Clash - A look at Sustainability, ESG and ‘Ethical’ Investing

Clare Payne, a lawyer that also studied journalism at University has always had a thing for words. Perhaps it is no surprise that I am now a Director of The Banking and Finance Oath, a Hippocratic-type oath for the finance sector that through the careful selection of words promotes ethical principles.

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19
Oct
16
Posted by:
Clare Payne, Director The Banking and Finance Oath

Bad People or Bad Decisions?

 A look at how we can make better decisions, more of the time
It’s not uncommon for adults to reflect back on their teenage years and wonder, ‘What was I thinking?’ There may be particular decisions you made that make you question what type of person you were and why you did what you did. The answer for some will be peer group pressure – which is particularly intense in our formative years. But what excuse do we have as adults for poor decisions? The answer is – many!
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26
Aug
16
Posted by:
Clare Payne, Director The Banking and Finance Oath

Women can lead the move to ‘values’ investing

Clare Payne, a Director of The Banking and Finance Oath writes "When I first heard of Warrant Buffet and his ‘Value Investing’ I felt enlivened, until I realised it has nothing to do with values - as in principles or value to society – and instead is about buying stocks that are under-priced."

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23
Aug
16
Posted by:
Dennis Gentilin, Centre for Ethical Leadership

Recovering from ethical failure

How does an organisation recover and rebuild from ethical failure? What do you do when you have failed your ethical duties as an organisation, and significantly compromised trust with your stakeholders? These are difficult times for any organisation. The good news is, I do believe that organisations can emerge from ethical failure stronger than what they were prior to the incident.
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29
Jul
16
Posted by:
Clare Payne, Director The Banking and Finance Oath

Limited Language - Blind Spots

How the language we use at work can undermine the very cultures we wish to create.

As the banking and finance industry is increasingly held to account by the public, and regulators attempt to grapple with how to best manage risk, the consideration of the role of language in both creating and undermining ethical work cultures is essential.
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22
May
16
Posted by:
Professor David R. Gallagher, CEO Centre for International Finance and Regulation

Integrity - the fundamental pillar of business culture

Do companies exist solely to advance the interests of their shareholders, or do they have a broader social obligation? Professor David R Gallagher recognises that this question has been debated since the advent of the limited liability company in the seventeenth century and explores why a question that previously remained largely confined within a scholarly domain has recently become an issue of mainstream social concern. 
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22
May
16
Posted by:
Jessica Ellerm, Partner Development Manager, Tyro Payments and active fin tech blogger.

Entrepreneurial talent is not the prerogative of the wealthy

Today, starting a business often requires getting a loan. Yet more often than not, getting a loan requires some form of collateral as security. As traditional types of security like the family home become further out of reach for the incoming generation of entrepreneurs, how will our traditional approach to lending need to change?
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22
May
16
Posted by:
Trent Moy, Senior Consultant, The Ethics Centre and Director of Halide Pty Ltd

The Banking and Finance Oath should not be necessary

Ironically, it seems like one of the ethical issues faced by people in the banking and finance industry is whether or not to take The Banking and Finance Oath (BFO).  Trent identifies two central dilemmas.  Firstly, that the Oath is taken with the right motivation or intent; and secondly, whether or not The BFO will actually have a positive effect – on the individual and on the wider industry.
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20
Apr
15
Posted by:
Clare Payne

What's in a word?

Some may ask how much one’s word is really worth. When some look at The Banking and Finance Oath and critique the initiative, they ask, ‘Can it really do anything?’ It’s just words after all. 
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05
Dec
14
Posted by:
Nicolette Bearup

STOP THE PRESS: Lawyer gives ethical assistance to bankers

Barrister Nicolette Bearup writes of the need for the finance industry to rebuild trust particularly in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, through ethical leadership that brings about real cultural change. She explores the potential of the Banking and Finance Oath and considers whether anything might be learned from current practice in the legal profession.
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28
Nov
14
Posted by:
Clare Payne

The Coveted Yellow Jersey

Clare Payne, Board Member of the BFO and Consulting Fellow with St James Ethics Centre, asserts the significance of the BFO in working towards a self-regulating, ethically conscious industry. She writes of the need to recognise that ethics and banking are not incongruous terms and should never be considered in common discourse. In light of this, Clare encourages signatories to use the BFO as an opportunity to spark that conversation.
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03
Nov
14
Posted by:
Dennis Gentilin

The BFO is the first step in a long journey

Dennis Gentilin laments the paradigm shift over the past thirty years within the banking and finance industry; from a humble and highly respected profession to a selfish and often greedy moneymaking pursuit. To rectify this cultural malaise, he encourages taking The Banking and Finance Oath as a first step, and to live by its principles throughout one’s professional life.
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28
Aug
14
Posted by:
Cris Parker

A Personal Commitment

We have produced a video to increase the awareness of the BFO within the industry and the community at large and hope that you will share it with colleagues and friends.
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01
Aug
14
Posted by:
Kathleen Gilbert

Need help in starting a conversation about an ethical issue?

Kathleen Gilbert, the Ethi-call Coordinator, writes of the temptation to take the easy way out when faced with a difficult ethical dilemma. In such situations, she suggests the service offered by Ethi-call, a free and confidential ethics counselling service facilitated by St James Ethics Centre. On behalf of Ethi-call, Kathleen supports the BFO in providing useful guidance to individuals who might be struggling with an ethical dilemma.
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01
Aug
14
Posted by:
Mark Rantall

Trust is the foundation of my profession.

Mark Rantall, CEO of the Financial Planning Association, reflects on his experience at a St. James Ethics course. He discusses the increasingly pertinent, yet seemingly brushed aside, “grey area” in ethical practice in the banking and finance industry. He stresses that when your profession is based on a foundation of trust, it is critical that you do everything to enshrine that trust, protect it and promote it. Taking the BFO is significant way to do this.
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01
Aug
14
Posted by:
Louise Drolz

‘I will speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same’

Louise Drolz, Principal at Remedy Financial, speaks of a personal situation in which she has followed the BFO: “I will speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same”. She has followed through on this action with pride and strength despite it being a difficult decision, and emphasises that there is no “unless it’s to my detriment” addendum.
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21
Jul
14
Posted by:
The BFO

ON FILM: Finance leaders discuss the difficulties of making the right choices

Watch two of Australia’s leaders in banking and finance, Mr. Simon McKeon AO (Chairman of AMP) and Mr. Steve Tucker (Executive Chairman of Westoz Investment Management), in a compelling discussion with Dr. Simon Longstaff AO (Executive Director of St James ethics Centre). They discuss critical moments in their careers where they came to an ethical crossroads, making decisions sometimes with ease and at other times testing their moral boundaries.
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01
May
14
Posted by:
Dr Simon Longstaff

Skepticism vs Cynicism - the battle of reputation

The Executive Director of St. James Ethics Centre, Dr. Simon Longstaff, ruminates on the origins of ethical shortcomings in the banking and finance industry. He suggests that the majority of wrongdoers are not usually avaricious and manipulative characters, but in fact moderately decent people who are engaging in practices they consider commonplace. This needs to change, starting with the recognition of ethical standards and the inter-personal accountability perpetuated by the BFO.
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30
Apr
14
Posted by:
Pauline Vamos

FOFA: An ethical debate

Pauline Vamos, ASFA Chief Executive Officer, acknowledges the responsibility of banking and finance professionals to make ethical decisions, particularly considering the asymmetry of information, knowledge and power in the practitioner/client relationship. She urges the industry to engage with this notion on a personal and conversational level, and start from the ground-up with the BFO.
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29
Apr
14
Posted by:
Cris Parker

New BFO appointment: Executive Cris Parker

Cris Parker, the newly appointed Executive of the BFO, introduces herself, outlines her role and discusses her hopes for the future of the BFO.
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29
Apr
14
Posted by:
Clare Payne

Who do you work for?

Clare Payne, BFO Board Member and Consulting Fellow with St. James Ethics Centre, contemplates the question: who do you work for? She considers the banking and finance industry’s obligation to society at large. As an industry founded upon a social contract with trust at its core, it should ultimately be guided by this philosophy when ethical obligations may seem unclear.
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29
Apr
14
Posted by:
Stephen Dunne

Short-termism and ethics

Stephen Dunne, BFO Chairman, reflects upon the dangers of finding short-term solutions to financial problems, or ones that deliver results for clients in the shortest time span, as these often hold ethical flaws, and come at the expense of long-term stability and trust. The BFO seeks to improve the ethical fabric of all market participants and thereby build a sustainable industry in the long-term.
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04
Dec
13
Posted by:
Steve Tucker

Why I joined the BFO – it’s a matter of trust

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.
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02
Dec
13
Posted by:
Philip Chronican

Is ethics a different ballgame for leaders?

Philip Chronican draws on over 30 years experience in banking to reflect upon the Global Financial Crisis, and how it exposed major flaws in the finance profession. He discusses the value of industry leaders taking the BFO, in that their message will filter down through the organisational hierarchy and influence individuals to commit to ethical behaviour.
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28
Nov
13
Posted by:
Steve Harker

Joining the BFO

Steve Harker, Managing Director and CEO for Morgan Stanley Australia, encourages all people involved in the banking and finance industry to become a signatory of the BFO, in order to reinforce the integrity of the profession as a whole. At the very least, he writes, it requires each person to think about every action undertaken in an ethical framework that will continue to strengthen over time.
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26
Nov
13
Posted by:
Trevor Rowe

Banking and Finance Oath

Trevor Rowe, Executive Chairman of Rothschild Australia, writes of the erosion of public faith in financial markets over the last decade. He attributes the tarnished reputation of the industry to a number of scandals and issues involving corruption, stressing the need for this to stop with the actions of individuals. This is the both the origin and the endgame of the Banking and Finance Oath – for every person in the industry to stand by values and ethics that protect and reward us all.
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