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Two million bankers around the world to sign up to global ethical standards

by Lewis Panther | 10 May 2018

Twenty five of the world’s leading banking institutes — representing more than two million employees — will sign up to new ethical standards from next month. 500 Two million bankers around the world to sign up to global ethical standards FINSIA InFinance

The global drive to make banking more ethical and professional is being pushed forward by FINSIA as one of the key first moves by the Global Banking Education Standards Board (GBEStB) which was formed last year.

Its aim is to formalise high-quality and consistent education of bankers and build trust in the industry.

Members of the GBEStB will be asked to sign up to the seven recommendations that make up the Ethics Education and Training for Professional Bankers Standard.

Chris Whitehead, a member of the GBEStB Education Standards Committee and Chief Executive and Managing Director of FINSIA, says the scheme will help to silencing some of the critics of the financial services sector.

He said: “We are certainly aware of the current challenges regarding ethical standards in banking both locally and globally. 

“Our first education standard sets out our expectations of and guidance for GBEStB member bodies regarding general and content recommendations, together with delivery and assessment of ethics education programmes for professional bankers.

“In Australia and New Zealand, unlike many other countries, there is currently no requirement for bank staff to hold professional banking qualifications or to belong to a professional institute with an industry-wide code of conduct for individuals. 

“FINSIA is advocating for the establishment of Australian industry standards for individual competency and conduct.”
FINSIA has also announced it will launch new professional banking qualifications in the first half of 2018.

“Promoting a more consistent approach to the ethics education of professional bankers worldwide should, in our view, help develop a strong and consistent culture of customer and client-focused, ethical professionalism in banking, and contribute to improving financial stability. 

“We call on banking institutes, central banks, regulators and others to endorse and support this standard, and the work of the GBEStB more broadly.”

Simon Thompson, Chair of GBEStB Education Standards Committee and Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute explained the thinking behind the drive to enhance and sustain professional standards in banking.

He said: “When banking is done well, it benefits us all, which is why customers, policy-makers, regulators, shareholders and bankers themselves want to see a re-invigorated banking industry built on solid foundations of customer and client-focused, ethical professionalism.  

“We all want to see banks and bankers successfully supporting customers and clients whilst lending responsibly, acting as trusted advisers to individuals and businesses, and playing a positive role facilitating sustainable economic growth. 

“To achieve this requires more than regulatory reform and re-building banks’ financial capital reserves.

“It also needs the banking industry in every country to recognise that having greater professionalism in banking is crucial because human capital matters as much as financial capital.

“To strengthen professionalism in banking and achieve our ultimate aim of enhancing and sustaining the trustworthiness of banks, banking and bankers in the eyes of our customers, clients, counterparties and communities, we need to build a banking industry staffed by banking professionals with high levels of technical competence and the appropriate values, attitudes and behaviour.”

The seven key recommendations, that all GBEStB member bodies are expected to comply with, include:

  1. General recommendations regarding ethics education and training
  2. Key ethical principles for professional bankers
  3. Content of ethics education and training programmes
  4. Delivery of ethics education and training programmes
  5. Assessment of ethics education and training programmes
  6. Impact measurement (of the Standard)
  7. Public declaration (i.e.: GBEStB member bodies shall publicly endorse the Standard)

The Standard also provides guidance that GBEStB members bodies are to consider when implementing the Standard.


  • | May 11, 2018

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