July marks the 134th anniversary of the foundations on which FINSIA’s core purpose in raising professional standards across financial services is still based. And the words of founder Henry Gyles Turner highlighting how professional education was such an excellent ROI then still resonate today.
Here InFinance is recounting some of the reports from those who are raising the bar in banking now.
While the testimonials are in no particular order, they all show a commitment to the kind of ethical professionalism that will deliver the best customer outcomes and build trust in financial services.
Former Bank of Queensland Money Market & Debt Funding Senior Manager Christopher Bell said: “Ultimately the decision to become Chartered Banker was a recognition that I wanted to be beholden to a global standard in banking and financial services.
“I feel CBBE is really a natural evolution to bankers acknowledging their experience and being accountable to a regime that is based on the very principles we should be displaying day in, day out – like professionalism, high ethical standards, and undeniable accountability for our actions.”
Talking about passing PBF, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank graduate Branislav Zivanovic G FIN said: “For me the one thing that was also an add-on, within the course, was a set of principles and the values - the code of conduct that FINSIA adheres by. “We had a whole chapter which was valuable.”
CBA Executive General Manager Regional and Agri Business Grant Cairns F FIN said: “Chartered Banker is excellent in that it hones your focus on your accountabilities as a banker particularly with respect to customer outcomes, understanding your compliance and regulatory obligations and having ethical frameworks to apply sound judgement.
“As Chartered Bankers, I think we are well placed to role model professional standards in the industry amongst those we lead and work with.”
On Chartered, Banker Armillary Private Capital Joint Managing Director Leon Grandy SF FIN said: “The applied ethics overlay is highlighted by reflecting on your own personal experience and then writing about this in a succinct and contextually tight way was an invaluable opportunity to reflect on what has happened in your career.
“If you think you already have the experience and the ability, then I would certainly recommend this path those who are looking at BEAR registration, but it wont get you there unless you have that willingness to be accountable. “It’s great when everything is going well; but it takes a special kind of humility to be willing to front year after year when things are not going well."
Chartered Banker Mark Sawyer - My Life My Finance General Manager - said: “Ensuring that people are properly qualified is certainly something that should be happening in banking. “Professionalism is something that I have become a lot more aware of over the past few years.
“The banking profession doesn’t have the same standing as an accountant or a lawyer and the work FINSIA is doing is really important.”
Adam Rose, a Relationship Manager in Business and Private Banking at CBA, who passed the PBF with flying colours and is already working towards Certified Professional Banker qualifications.
“If lawyers and accountants have a need for continuing professional development then bankers have double that need,” said Adam, G FIN.
FINSIA’s first PBF graduate Alexander Neskovski, who passed two years ago, said: “I’d recommend taking the PBF to anyone who is considering getting into financial services. Learn about the industry, enjoy it and see where it takes you. Grab it with both hands. “As a professional qualification, it’s certainly a comprehensive course. It is definitely a good complement and more practical than studying academic qualifications.”
Chartered Banker Stephen Mifsud, Judo Bank managing director relationships, said: “Having worked in chartered accounting, I see the value firsthand that Chartered starts brings to an industry. “As a banking industry to be able to leverage something similar is what is needed.
“This makes it world class.
“I would like to think that the leaders in the industry will actually support it. Let’s hope so.
“For our bankers who can get through the by experience program, fantastic, but for the less senior bankers, there is a program to proficiency that as a bank we'll look to support.”
Maggie Lien - ING’s Senior Manager Regulatory Risk - said: “The PBF course is a great qualification for those either new to the banking and finance sector, or for people looking to build on their academic qualification and wishing to gain more specific banking and financial services knowledge.”
Bendigo Bank’s Paul Vergara G-FIN said: “Right now, customer expectations are higher than ever, and they are aligning themselves with organisations that they both trust and share values with and PBF gives you that level of professionalism.
“Because of the increased expectations from customers, acting with integrity and authenticity is very important to them. This means they will get the best outcome”
“I draw on the PBF a lot because of the strong emphasis on ethics and professionalism.
“It's had a tremendous impact. I feel more confident in the role that I play at the bank.”
Regional Australia Bank Campbell Nicoll chief risk officer Campbell Nicholl said: “Banking as a profession is quite different to other professions in that to be successful we need to ensure that the customers interests are respected as well as the Banks which means a Banker has more than one interested party.
“Given these competing demands there is the need for good quality courses to assist Bankers develop deeper skills.
“The Chartered Banker programme is unique and I would encourage people who are looking a career in Banking to undertake the Chartered Banking programme as it will deepen their skill set and provide specific skills that are unique to the Banking industry.”
Irene Yu, Director, Migrant & Multicultural Banking at Westpac, said: “Going through Chartered Banker has really helped to reaffirm my banking experience.
“To me it’s a qualification that creates more reputation and credibility in the market.
“We have to ask how do we give back? How can we be more socially responsible as the individual, professional in the industry?
“We've got to look beyond just the Industry as a banker, It's more, how can we be a better Corporate Citizen globally as well.”