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Future of professionalisation to be key theme at FINSIA signature Summit 2018

by Lewis Panther | 02 Aug 2018
Influential thinkers and academics have agreed to be at FINSIA’s signature Summit 2018 focusing on the future of professionalisation.

A cross-section of industry leaders, regulators, consumer champions and policy makers have already signed up to speak and sit on panels to discuss a pathway through the post-Royal Commission banking landscape.

Their views on a successful way forward for financial services make the event in October a day not to be missed.

Ethical Kaleidoscope co-author Dr Zivit Inbar, former head of governance at APRA Fahmi Hosain, CUA chief executive Rob Goudswaard and Choice CEO Alan Kirkland will be sharing their views on how to take the industry into the next decade and beyond. 

A international keynote speech by Dame Susan Rice, Chair of the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board, showing the lessons learned from the UK experience and insights from APRA chairman Wayne Byres have already been announced.

But it’s clear that the conversation needs to be ongoing.

With another round of the Hayne inquiry about to get underway the inevitable unpalatable headlines are certain to emerge highlighting how customers have lost out because of unethical behaviour on the part of super funds.

There has also been a succession of surveys showing a lack trust in the banks, showing why it’s clear leaders need to work together to rebuild faith in the sector.

Customer satisfaction has dropped four percentage points since January with more than on win one in five considering switching bank, according to the Royal Morgan polls.

FINSIA’s own research undertaken before the Royal Commission shows trust can be restored by investing in professional standards.

In fact, it has been FINSIA’s long held view that one of the fundamental ways of fixing that loss of trust is through professionalisation - which will be front and centre at Summit 2018.

FINSIA’s Head of Education Kylie Blundell said: “FINSIA’s recognises that while professionalism is not going to fix all the problems we are facing, it is certainly a major part of the solution this sits in alignment with other initiatives, including regulation. And that will continue to be the case in the future.”

If we look at three key elements that build professionalism – education and continuing professional development, professional association membership and disciplinary procedures, education clearly will still be of paramount importance in the future, according to Kylie.

If you cannot do the job competently, how can you be a professional? Now or in the future? It will mean getting to grips with aspects of the new technology that is at the heart of the financial services industry. 

Membership of an independent professional body is another crucial component. The consequences of a disciplinary process is a third crucial part of professionalism that will remain into the future.

Kylie said: “The importance we place on education as part of our professionalisation process will allow our members to develop skills that future proof they careers.

“Membership provides individuals with contacts and networks that will allow them to progress their careers now and into the future.

“Again, being part of a membership body with a disciplinary process will give employers the reassurance that their workforce is performing to the highest ethical levels.

“Ethical principles are to a degree future proof – they have been around for many many years.

“That’s why they don’t need to match the speed of technology, the principles that are applied remain the same.

One technological advance that does need to be taken into consideration is Artificial Intelligence. AI can be seen as a way of ensuring ethical corporate behaviour as it removes the human factor from decision making processes – for example when determining credit ratings for customers – but it will still need to be imbued with the values of the board.

As Ethical Kaleidoscope co-author Dr Zivit Inbar says: “Artificial intelligence is really cool but there are major ethical considerations behind it the board needs to consider.

“With artificial intelligence, you can control ethical values used in product development in Australia. 

“When we start importing products that use artificial intelligence we won't know the basic ethical assumptions on which they were developed.”

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