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The ethics of reputation

Wednesday 30 June, 2021
by Anonymous

You’re a loan officer working in a large financial institution and a loan application has landed on your desk from a new customer. You recognise the name of this high-profile individual who is ‘allegedly’ part of a drug cartel.

You feel uncomfortable about progressing this loan application. You question the use of the funds but recognise your judgement being clouded having lost a friend to an accidental drug overdose recently.

What would you do?

  • Does this application fit within your organisation’s risk appetite?
  • Are you entitled to make a judgement on this person when there is no legal implication of a criminal record?
  • Should your personal experience influence your professional decision?

We challenge you to create a healthy discussion with your colleagues and post a comment below. You could even encourage them to consider taking The Banking and Financial Services Oath!

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Photo by @felipepelaquim on Unsplash 


There are 2 comments for The ethics of reputation.

Re: The ethics of reputation

Thursday 1 July, 2021
by CosaNostra
Leave your personal experience at the door and try to look at the case from an unbiased position.
Information in the public domain should be considered, but what is the source of the allegations? An allegation is a statement without proof.
Is the loan applicant involved in a pending court case, if so - what are the charges?
If applicant is charged with being a member of a drug cartel, what is their association?
We won't know until the evidence has been considered and a legal judgement made. Therefore, if there's a pending court case and this info is in the public domain, may be prudent to defer the application until the case is finalised - however first action should be to flag the case by raising a risk ticket with your Ethics & Compliance team and awaiting their advice.
If there's no pending court case or the allegations are proven to be false, Ethics & Compliance may recommended to process the application as you normally would, assuming applicant meets the eligibility criteria of the policy and underwriting requirements are met.

Re: The ethics of reputation

Thursday 1 July, 2021
by Cris
Thanks CosaNostra for your considered response. Challenging assumptions and determining the facts is essential to being able to make a good decision. Emotional reactions to a situation can create biases that inform our decisions and provide a result that makes us personally feel good about the choice but it doesn't mean it's the right one.

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