Graduates of FINSIA’s Professional Banking Fundamentals program are starting to reap the rewards of their hard work with promotions and exciting career moves.
As the numbers of employees attaining the professional qualification that is an entrance to the Chartered Banker pathway grows from hundreds to thousands, data is starting to show those who pioneered the PBF are looking like future industry leaders.
With the rollout of a third version of the program on the eve of the third anniversary of its launch - and the launch of the New Zealand PBF - CEO and Managing Director Chris Whitehead congratulated the growing community of G FINs.
“The PBF’s importance is becoming better understood as it matures,” said Mr Whitehead Chartered Banker F FIN.
“It’s three years since we launched the course as part of FINSIA’s professionalisation strategy and now we are seeing it rolled out to tens of thousands of employees.
“And it’s really pleasing to hear about the internal promotions and exciting career moves being enjoyed by those aspirational bankers who have taken the opportunity to enhance their skills.
“It is a validation of their hard work and encourages us here at FINSIA to continue our approach to restoring customer trust in banking and financial services, by elevating standards of conduct and competency.
“As I said at the time, support for professional aspiration and a professional culture will ultimately be far more successful than rigid regulation and a compliance mindset.
“There’s still a great deal of work to be done, but it’s clear from the feedback from senior executives and the C-suite that they are seeing the benefits of the Professional Banking Fundamentals.
“The Royal Commission highlighted just how far we had to go when it came to setting standards of individual accountability, but the banks showed themselves in a new light with a hands on approach that put customers first - as Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh told a recent PBF-focused FINSIA webinar.
“That said, the Banking Code Compliance Committee which criticised banks for not doing enough to prevent breaches of the Code of Practice is worrying.
“The 40,000 breaches of the Banking Code of Practice in the 2019/20 financial year was an increase of 160 per cent over the previous year. And it affected with 3.5 million customers, with a total financial impact of more than A$123 million.
“That the banks say 70% of the breaches were down to human error, suggests there is still room for improvement in elevating their skill levels.
“And we know from those employers who are focused on continually improving their workforce that the PBF is rigorous enough to test even two-decade career bankers.
“So it is surely worth considering the new, improved version of the program that makes it easier to study over enhanced digital applications. You can study bite-sized units either through e-learning, audio files, an interactive PDF or a blend of all three.
“And with the New Zealand version of the PBF about to be unveiled we are returning to the education space there too. So it is going to be a busy third anniversary for FINSIA."