It’s time to start believing in the inherent good of our financial services sector.
Strip away the logos and branding, strip away the corporate structures and systems and you have people. People who want to have a purpose, who do good work and want to go home to their families and friends and be proud to say what they do for a living.
The Royal Commission into the banking and finance sector is exposing the worst of the worst.
So how do individuals in that industry find their moral spot, calibrate their moral compass when everything around them looks corrupt? When they are treated like they can do no right?
That’s why now is the time for us to support an industry initiative called The Banking and Finance Oath.
It is literally an Oath that people in the industry voluntarily take themselves. A promise they make to themselves, to their peers and society to be accountable.
To Act with integrity
To speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same
To be responsible for their actions, particularly when things go wrong
Therefore helping to build a more just society.
The BFO is not making anyone do the right thing, most people want to. It helps prevent unthinking practices and creates a common language so that 'business as usual' is something we can all be proud of.
This is not about forgiveness, that would be premature and is not my place to ask.
It can be so satisfying to hate and to blame; but what then?
Our society needs an ethical and trustworthy banking and finance system to function well. The cultures with in those systems are led by individuals. The Banking and Finance Oath gives those people the power to demand integrity in their work place and help rebuild the much-needed trust that has been lost.
We should support them. If we lose our trust in humans, what else is there?