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Frequently asked questions

Why does the banking and finance industry need an oath?

The banking and finance industry is considered an essential component of a civilised society, fulfilling functions that matter to our daily lives.

It is therefore essential that the industry be trusted and deemed to be trustworthy and that the people within it respect the position of trust which society affords them.

The BFSO is designed to highlight the founding moral and ethical principles of the industry and remind individuals of their broader commitment to society now and in the future.


Am I joining something?

Yes, you are becoming a signatory to the Oath, an initiative of The Ethics Centre. By becoming a signatory, you agree to adhere to the Oath of the organisation. You commit to principles that you agree will shape your behaviour and decisions as you go about your work in the banking and finance industry. We hope the principles of the BFSO will afford some benefit to you and in turn your actions will benefit the banking and finance industry and society more broadly.


Can this really achieve anything?

We believe it can. Personal commitments can form a strong basis for consistent and considered decisions and action.


Is this just a marketing campaign?

No. The individuals who have been involved in the development of the BFSO are personally committed to the initiative and to high ethical standards in the banking and finance industry. Their involvement is on a personal rather than organisational basis in accordance with the intent of the BFSO.


Will the oath apply to me as well as my employer?

The Oath is a personal commitment and is not binding on the institution in which the signatories are employed.



The behaviour of BFSO signatories will not be actively monitored. However if unethical behaviour or behaviour outside the spirit and intent of the BFSO occurs, we encourage individuals to reach out to The BFSO for a confidential conversation. 


Does the BFSO have value if the standards aren’t upheld?

The value of such an initiative is created by the individuals who commit and their adherence to the spirit and intent of the BFSO.


Does the BFSO engage with customers?

Considering and understanding the customer is central to achieving to The BFSO its purpose.

  • We are guided by the following principles in relation to the customer:
  • We consider the position of the customer when inquiring and responding to ethical issues.
  • We engage consumer groups and representatives to contribute to forums and commentary.
  • We encourage our signatories to bring customers to our events and forums.
  • We offer a minimum of 5 tickets to customers at our events.


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.