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FINSIA and The BFO to hold ethics conference for next generation of finance leaders

by Lewis Panther | 26 Jun 2019
FINSIA is joining forces with The Banking and Finance Oath  (The BFO) for a conference on ethics aimed at the next generation of banking and finance sector leaders.

APRA chairman Wayne Byres and Australian Banking Association chief executive Anna Bligh are among the senior speakers at the event.

They will be joined by a host of award-winning philosophers, ethicists, academics and executives from the growing crop of challenger ADIs for a day of keynote speeches, with Q&A panels focusing on the ethical challenges facing the industry.

Whether claims made during the Royal Commission that it would take a decade to fix culture are correct or not, the conference is geared towards giving the next generation the tools to make the right decisions in future.

Chairman of The BFO Board John Laker said: “By bringing a range of perspectives to the ethical challenges facing our industry, this conference will stimulate and provoke. 

“It should be of particular interest to our younger signatories, who will one day carry the mantle of industry leadership and will have much to take from the discussions.”

FINSIA chief executive Chris Whitehead F FIN said: “We’re pleased to keep up our ongoing relationship with the BFO.

“This conference is just a logical step following on from the Royal Commission. Like prudent bankers, we can hope for a better culture a decade into the future.

“But we should be putting the steps in place now to make sure younger, ambitious executives are equipped to make the right decisions going forward.”

Discussions about how financial services can build a more sustainable future are high on the agenda, along with challenging topics like: ‘Your customer, the human being with a family to feed.” 

That the latter is being led by ABA chief executive Anna Bligh is particularly apt. The ABA chief executive notably said the banks’ behaviour had landed them with the Royal Commission and that they needed to prove they could be trusted, shows the conference will pull no punches.

Kylie Blundell SA FIN Head of Standards and Education - who will be on a panel to discuss the way “to prepare tomorrow’s leaders to be morally accountable” - said: “That Hope Dies Last is the title of the panel shows we are ever the optimists.

“But this conference is part of what we should be doing to make sure we have the right culture in banking and financial services. And that’s ongoing professional training which challenges each and every one of us in the industry. 

“I’ve said it before and will repeat it, because it’s true. We can always do more to build our knowledge of ethics.

“Our research into trust and consumers’ financial literacy that was carried out earlier this year shows just why it is so important.

“The fact is that the vast majority of consumers who think they understand their financial health actually lack even the basics. This proves the industry needs to focus on ethics on an ongoing basis.”

The BFO’s executive Jodi O’Callaghan said: “As individuals, the choices we make not only shape the person we become, but also the organisation we work for. 

“Financial services in Australia is at a crossroads. Now is the time to make different choices and contribute to an industry to be proud of. 

“The BFO invites you to shake up the discussion at the conference, explore new ideas and help shape the future of your industry.”

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