Articles & Dilemmas
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Articles & Dilemmas


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

21 Nov 18

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 Financial Services Oath (The BFSO). This submission outlines the background and purpose of The BFSO and the role it has been playing in rebuilding community trust in this crucial industry.

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

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

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.