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14
Nov
19
Posted by:
Simon Watson

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

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.
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01
Nov
19
Posted by:
Cris Parker

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

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.
Read more
23
Oct
19
Posted by:
James Cook, CIO

Bringing people and planet to the fore at U Ethical

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.
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23
Oct
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

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

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.
Read more
17
Oct
19
Posted by:
Katrina Lee

The ethics of disclosure

You work in financial advice and have developed a friendly relationship with one of your clients who is now applying for an insurance product. They casually reveal to you that over a decade ago they engaged in regular recreational drug use.

Read more
10
Oct
19
Posted by:
Sarah Kennedy

The ethics of monetary gifts

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).
Read more
25
Sep
19
Posted by:
Anonymous

The ethics of lending

This week’s dilemma sees a financial institution facing the dilemma of whether or not to lend, and support a brothel's payment systems. 
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19
Sep
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

The ethics of speaking up

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.  

Read more
11
Sep
19
Posted by:
Anonymous

The ethics of remediation

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. 
Read more
05
Sep
19
Posted by:
Wayne Byres, APRA Chairman

Is self-regulation dead?

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.

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04
Sep
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

The ethics of internships

A recent graduate from a reputable university has been offered the opportunity to work with their dream organisation, reporting to you as the manager of the strategy division. Your organisation has a good reputation for giving graduates internships. But there's a catch. 
Read more
30
Aug
19
Posted by:
Cris Parker

The Invisible Middle

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?
Read more
19
Aug
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

Photo gallery of The BFO | FINSIA Crossroads Conference

During a thought provoking day at the recent BFO | FINSIA Conference, our photographer captured some candid moments amongst speakers and attendees. 
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19
Aug
19
Posted by:
By Dani Simpson, Rabobank and Alex Green, The University of Sydney | Westpac

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

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
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17
Aug
19
Posted by:
Anonymous

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

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. 


Read more
13
Aug
19
Posted by:
Karen Walker

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

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.
Read more
24
Jul
19
Posted by:
Anonymous

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

‘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!


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23
Jul
19
Posted by:
Christina Wu

A guiding compass through career progression

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. 
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17
Jul
19
Posted by:

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

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.

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17
Jul
19
Posted by:
Leslie Cannold, PhD (Education), Master Bioethics, B.S (Psychology)

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

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. 
Read more
10
Jul
19
Posted by:
Katrina Dunn

Creating a sustainable future: Grameen's model is not a hand-out – but a hand-up

By Katrina Dunn

An executive high-flyer who spent her first years on the poverty-stricken streets of Manila has told how she walked away from corporate life - as she felt like a fraud. Though Kat Dunn, who will be speaking at the FINSIA | BFO Crossroads Conference next month, is now back – this time a chief executive.
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08
Jul
19
Posted by:
Anthony Asher

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

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?’ 
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03
Jul
19
Posted by:
Dr Simon Longstaff

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

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.


Read more
26
Jun
19
Posted by:
Pablo Berrutti

Altiorem – A higher purpose for finance

Pablo Berrutti is a signatory of The BFO and Founder of Altiorem - an online library and resource centre dedicated to facilitating, promoting, and influencing the investment and broader finance industry towards long-term, sustainable and purposeful allocation of capital. Due to launch later this year, more help is still needed to get it there. With this month's newsletter theme focusing on connecting like-minded individuals and the industry being at a crossroads, if you are interested in offering support to Pablo and making a difference, please keep reading! 
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26
Jun
19
Posted by:
Max Zielenski

Connecting like-minded individuals

The Banking and Finance Oath prides itself on being able to connect like-minded individuals who share a common purpose. Our Young Ambassador Program is a great example of one way we do this - connecting young people to each other, and to others in the industry. Max Zielenski is a signatory based in Brisbane who has been supporting our Young Ambassador from the Bank of Queensland, and wanted to share his experience. 
Read more
18
Jun
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

The Marketing Manager in a small privately-held wealth advisory firm has her bonus tied directly to annual sales. The higher the sales, the bigger the bonus. 
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06
Jun
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

A small boutique insurance company has been hammered by a slowing economy. Sales are off dramatically, cash flow is dwindling and lines of credit are nearly exhausted. The company is bleeding money. The founder and CEO is trying to ride out the storm, but the situation has deteriorated enough that he must do something to stop the financial haemorrhaging.

Read more
24
May
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

This week's ethical dilemma challenge is a little different. We want to take you beyond just the week, and introduce you to the new education portal on our website. 
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16
May
19
Posted by:
John Jeffery

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

You are trading on behalf of a client in fairly large nominals of US bonds. The counterparties in these trades are often people just like you. There’s a commission associated with a client’s trade and there’s also the opportunity, when it arises, to make some extra money from imperfections in the market.
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08
May
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

You are a Human Resources Business Partner to an IT team of 45 people in a large financial institution. The team is leading a high profile systems transformation that will take the business through a significant change in the way it deals with customers. 
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01
May
19
Posted by:
John Neil

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

A manager oversees a team of front facing customer service staff. She has been working hard to improve the level of respect shown by staff to customers. 
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30
Apr
19
Posted by:
Dr John Laker AO

Governance Institute of Australia Interview with Dr John Laker AO rebuilding trust

The fundamental challenge in rebuilding the public’s trust in the financial services industry is putting the best interests of customers at the centre of organisational culture, decisionmaking and remuneration arrangements.
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18
Apr
19
Posted by:
John Jeffery

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

Working in the fast-paced and dynamic world of international equities, many deals are traded on a daily basis. Its important office teams ensure that the settlement process runs smoothly; if a trade fails to settle, the consequences can be loss of reputation and more...
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12
Apr
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

Your company has moved some of its agri-business activity off-shore (Country X). The principal attraction is a low-wage environment and a relaxed regulatory regime. Profits have increased since the decision was made...
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05
Apr
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge


In recent months you have been working very long hours and spending a considerable amount of time away from your family. 

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27
Mar
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

You are a qualified accountant. You have been asked, by your line manager, to complete a costing exercise with a very short deadline and limited resources. 
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20
Mar
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

It's time to exercise your ethics muscle in our weekly challenge! 

You have been part of a team working on a large and complex project. You have heard that a fairly major error has shown up as part of the financials for the project. 
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19
Mar
19
Posted by:
Cris Parker

"I am a trusted advisor"

Trust is the talk of the town at the moment. Rebuilding, regaining, retaining. But as much as you think you deserve to be considered trustworthy, it is not something that can be self-nominated. Cris Parker, a Director with The BFO, explains why. 
Read more
13
Mar
19
Posted by:
Boris Bieler

Positive challenges for the outsourcing and advisory industry in a post Royal Commission era

Boris Bieler CFA, FCPA (Australia) is a signatory to The Banking and Finance Oath and raises awareness of the Oath in his role as guest lecturer at Macquarie University and UTS when lecturing on topics around auditing, risk management, corporate governance and ethics in banking. We invited Boris to provide his insights on what he thinks some of the positive challenges might be for the outsourcing and advisory industry, post Royal Commission. 
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13
Mar
19
Posted by:
Pauline Vamos

What comes after the question of 'Should We'?

Pauline Vamos, a director with The Banking and Finance Oath and the new Chairman of Freedom Insurance gives her take on how the financial services industry can recover and move forward following the Hayne Royal Commission. 
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12
Mar
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

A colleague has recently prepared a new spreadsheet which is used to produce a weekly report for the bank’s liquidity committee. You are responsible for updating the underlying data which feeds into the spreadsheet to produce the report...

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18
Feb
19
Posted by:
The Banking and Finance Oath

The BFO releases discussion paper following unique cross-industry event

As an independent organisation, The BFO is in a unique position to facilitate cross-industry discussions. Following our Chatham House event in August we have released the discussion paper that captures the key themes and topics covered on the night. 
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16
Feb
19
Posted by:
Jodi O'Callaghan

There is hope in a long-term commitment to culture change

By Jodi O'Callaghan, Executive Officer, The BFO.
As the financial services industry braces for the release of the Final Report from the Hayne Royal Commission, one thing is certain: the financial services industry in Australia will never be the same.
Read more
14
Dec
18
Posted by:
Tamara Scicluna

Shifting industry norms and culture: individuals can also make a difference

Rhizome Advisory Group's Tamara Scicluna spent 15 years at the prudential regulator, APRA, in roles that spanned supervision, policy and risk advisory across banking, insurance and superannuation. So who better to take a closer look at some of the issues we're seeing at the Royal Commission, and the role individuals can play in shifting culture. 

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14
Dec
18
Posted by:
Steven Harker

Message from Director, Steven Harker

Watching the Royal Commission hearings and the many stories of individual suffering and hardship continually reminds me of what one senior executive said to me some 35 years ago when I first joined the finance industry: “Never forget the client. He or she is the fundamental basis for our business. Treat them well and our business will do well”.
These words are as true today as they were then. In fact, they are the basis for how the human race has successfully traded within and across its societies for millennia. No business or enterprise ever survived from mistreating its clients or selling them dodgy products or goods. We should not have needed a Royal Commission or indeed laws and regulations to remind us of this. Sadly though it appears we have had to – to reinforce in the most dramatic and sad terms the importance of both behaviour and the lessons from history regarding clients.
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20
Nov
18
Posted by:

The BFO Submission: Royal Commission into Misconduct the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry

In its Interim Report, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry noted that the explanation for the poor conduct identified was “too often…the pursuit of short-term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty” (p xix). One initiative already underway to raise standards of honesty and integrity in Australia’s financial services industry is The Banking and Finance Oath (The BFO). This submission outlines the background and purpose of The BFO and the role it has been playing in rebuilding community trust in this crucial industry.

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06
Nov
18
Posted by:
John R. Boatright, Loyola University Chicago , Chicago , IL , USA

Swearing to be Virtuous: The Prospects of a Banker's Oath By John R. Boatright

Abstract
In an effort to restore trust in the banking sector, the Advisory Committee on the Future of Banks in the Netherlands made a recommendation, which has since been adopted, that bank executives be required to swear an oath akin to the physician's Hippocratic Oath. This examination of the prospects of the Dutch banker's oath addresses two broad issues. One issue is the efficacy of oaths themselves as instruments for achieving the desired end. A second issue concerns the extent to which this particular oath is a useful guide to ethical banking practice. 

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08
Oct
18
Posted by:

Message from Executive Officer, Jodi O'Callaghan

Ten years ago during the global financial crisis (GFC) I was working in the Public Affairs team at the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). Three months in to my role, here I am today working at The Banking and Finance Oath (The BFO) just days after Commissioner Hayne released the interim report from the Royal Commission into our banking and finance industry. 
Read more
05
Oct
18
Posted by:
Simon Russell

Would having all financial professionals take the Banking and Finance Oath be an antidote to the ethical problems uncovered in the Banking Royal Commission?

In this article, Simon Russell of Behavioural Finance Australia looks at ways individuals can translate The Banking and Finance Oath in to practical terms for themselves, and their teams. 

Read more
05
Oct
18
Posted by:
Cris Parker

The BFO's Cris Parker takes her idea to the House

The BFO’s Cris Parker took her idea of 'It’s time to start believing in the inherent good of our financial services sector' to the TedXSydney stage at the Opera House recently, when she was selected out of 180 submissions to be one of 20 finalists to pitch her idea ahead of the 2019 event.
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28
Sep
18
Posted by:
The Banking and Finance Oath

Commissioner Hayne releases Interim Report

In the end, rules, systems, processes and practices are necessary, but having the right culture and performance depends, in the Commissioner's words, "Upon people applying the right standards and doing their job properly".

Photo courtesy of ABC



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24
Jun
18
Posted by:
Dr Bob Murray is an expert in strategy influencing, human motivation and behavioural change.

The ethics of...well everything.

Almost all scholars agree that we have ethical rules and standards for one essential reason—to enable collaboration among relatively small groups of people. Why small groups? Because modern humans—and their immediate (and unfortunately extinct) cousins (Neanderthals, Denisovans and so forth)—and their distant ancestors (from the common ancestor of us and chimps to Homo erectus) all lived in small groups, so specialising in relating to a small group of individuals became hardwired into our DNA. 
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17
Dec
17
Posted by:
Sharon Yardley, Manager – Marketing & Compliance, Heartland Seniors Finance

Why Heartland Joined The Banking and Finance Oath

Although the Oath is taken by the individual, there are accasions where an organisation will ask all employees to consider taking the Oath, thus becoming 100% committed. This process provides an opportunity for the entire organisation to consider the alignment between thier own values and those of the organisation. It provides a common ethical framework with which they can hold each other to account. Heartland Senior Finance made this commitment and it allowed for self-reflection on what a 'suatainable future' means to them.
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09
Dec
17
Posted by:
Robert M. C. Brown AM,

Hope Springs Eternal - The Jouney of Professionalism in Financial Planning

It’s often claimed that the discipline of financial planning has made considerable progress since its inception some fifty years ago. That may well be true, depending on your definition of the word ‘progress’. 
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09
Dec
17
Posted by:
Pablo Berutti, Chairman RIAA

A New Age of Purpose Led Finance

The growth and adoption of responsible investment is a global phenomenon. Time and again over the last few years we have heard that a tipping point has been reached.

That responsible investing is mainstream. 
Read more
07
Dec
17
Posted by:
Jamie Osborne, CEO GetCapital

Financial Services & Ethics, a view from a Fintech Lender

I recently renewed my personal commitment to The Banking and Finance Oath (for the second time) and it had me reflecting on GetCapital’s culture and how we have attempted to build a strong ethical foundation to everything we do.
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14
Jul
17
Posted by:
Lisa Hill, Senior Licensing Consultant, Copyright Agency

Good copyright governance in banking and finance

Copies of newspaper articles, magazine articles, journal articles, reports, books and graphs directly benefit thousands of organisations in Australia, who use them to influence, be strategic in decision-making and achieve corporate objectives. Good Copyright Governance is ensuring that the creators of these pieces are being recognised and compensated fairly for their work.
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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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