Financial Empowerment

By 2022 BFSO Young Ambassadors

Resources for industry to assist Financial empowerment within vulnerable groups

The 2022 Young Ambassadors explored Financial Empowerment. This concept is broader than financial literacy, and includes confidence in making financial decisions and engaging with financial services. Financial empowerment is important for ethics in banking and finance. Financially empowered groups are more likely to advocate for their unique needs when engaging with the financial services industry. This is key to these groups becoming better served by financial institutions, less vulnerable to be victims of unethical actions by financial institutions, and better placed to achieve their financial aspirations.

Humans have always used stories to make sense out of our chaotic world. The complexity of modern life, the digitisation of our banking system, and the added stresses of the current financial and housing market means the vulnerable can feel powerless. Systemic change can happen through storytelling, which is why we chose to capture the stories of groups of people who often find themselves not being listened to - Young Migrants, Women and Indigenous Australians.

The financial services industry can experience moral disengagement from its clients, whether it’s through online banking, an industry language filled with acronyms, or by associating customers with numbers. By humanising vulnerable customers who feel unempowered and presenting this to people who work within the industry, we hope this may lead to a greater awareness and understanding of financial disempowerment.

The aim of this project is to increase awareness about the variation in different groups’ experiences interacting with the financial system, with the hope that young financial services professionals have a greater awareness of the issues people face and remain cognisant of these differences throughout their careers.

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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.