The Banking and Finance Oath and MetLife encourage industry to rebuild trust

From

Richard Nunn

MetLife Australia have worked with the The Banking and Finance Oath to encourage other financial services organisations to back lifting ethical standards across the industry, by supporting their employees to take the Oath. MetLife is the first insurer to support The BFO at an organisational level, by encouraging its own staff to take the Oath, as a step towards rebuilding the reputation of the industry.

MetLife has worked with The BFO over the last five months to build a bespoke program that educated staff on The Oath, building on the existing values of the business and strengthening the ‘speak up’ culture. The program included Cris Parker from the Ethics Centre and BFO Director talking to staff about the role ethics plays in business decision making, along with education and communications on the values of the Oath. Following the roll out of the program, more than 40% of MetLife staff have taken the Oath and MetLife plans to continue working closely with The BFO to support its staff through ongoing education and embedding the Oath into the business.

The BFO and MetLife are now joining with fellow signatories to encourage the rest of the insurance and financial services industry to support their staff in taking the Oath, by providing education and driving awareness. The Oath is a simple way for individuals to publicly declare their intention to uphold high ethical standards and help to rebuild trust in the industry.

Richard Nunn, MetLife Australia CEO, reflected on the work with The BFO, saying, “We believe in doing the right thing and we know there is work across the industry  to do to rebuild trust. Working with The Banking and Finance Oath has given us an opportunity to have a deep and important conversation with our people about how we operate, instilling a commitment to high ethical standards in an organisation that believes in ethics. As an organisation with high ethical standards, this is an important conversation to have and it’s one we have to keep having over and over. Now is the time for all of us in the financial services industry to support their people and encourage behaviour that meets the expectations of the community.”

John Laker, Chairman, The Banking and Finance Oath, says, “We’re very encouraged by the level of engagement from MetLife. We know that taking the Oath enables individuals to demonstrate their pride in their workplace and their industry. People want to see ethics being prioritised and management leading by example.The Oath is a clear way for individuals in the financial services industry to personally and publicly demonstrate a commitment to maintaining high ethical standards. Organisations have an opportunity to focus on embedding behaviours that bestow trust, question unthinkinging practices and invite ethics in to tough business decisions. I encourage all banking and financial services organisations to get in touch with The BFO and talk about what we can do together.”

The Banking and Finance Oath was started in 2012, as an initiative by The Ethics Centre and industry representatives who wanted to improve the ethical standards and reputation of the financial services industry.

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