It may seem outdated to refer to the GFC but it seems at least, some of the issues remain. After the GFC it was believed the industries’ deficiencies could only be corrected by increased regulation and surveillance. However, there were opinions at the time that ethical failure had played a part in the crisis, rather than a lack of regulation.
As the GFC shook the global economy, a number of leaders in the banking and finance industry and the Ethics Centre in Australia came together to explore the development of a new ethical foundation for the industry. The BFO emerged after a year of consultation; an oath, based loosely on the Hippocratic Oath for doctors that individuals can voluntarily take, a set of guiding principles that can be applied to ones work, underpinned with integrity. Importantly this initiative is based on the inherent good of the industry.
The BFO is as relevant today as it was at its inception. Culture, conduct and governance are key building blocks to a healthy financial services system and the essential underpinning principles are fairness and justice. The vision of The BFO is simple but compelling - a banking and finance industry that meets the community’s needs and has its full confidence.
My purpose in this role couldn’t be clearer – to raise awareness of The BFO, and empower individuals in the banking and finance industry to declare their integrity. As a signatory, you are part of a movement helping to rebuild the trust that has been lost.
I'm certainly grateful to be working for an organisation that has such a strong vision and engaged group of individuals as signatories. I'd like to thank each of you for your commitment to The BFO - your annual fees go towards supporting our purpose.
I'd also like to thank those of you who responded to our recent survey. Your feedback will be taken on board to help us evolve The BFO and we'll share the results in our next newsletter. But a special shout out must go to those of you who chose to make a generous donation via the link at the end of the survey - your donations are greatly appreciated and do not go unnoticed.
Finally, it is not lost on me, how meaningful it is to have a supportive, passionate Board advocating for positive change in the industry at this crucial point in time.
I look forward to working with all of you in the coming months to truly make a difference to our industry.