The call for a code of ethics comes after a series of scandals such as the mis-selling of payment protection insurance, Libor rate rigging, mis-selling of interest swaps to small businesses and even money laundering.
The British Bankers Association says an oath could be part of an answer. BBA executive director for financial policy and operations Paul Chisnall said: "Restoring trust and confidence is the banking industry's number one priority." He accepted that a wide-ranging banking oath "very well could be part of the answer".
Phillip Blond, director of ResPublica, standing for ‘society, prosperity, virtue’, said: "As countless scandals demonstrate, virtue is distinctly absent from our banking institutions. The bankers' oath represents a remarkable opportunity to fulfil their proper moral and economic purpose, and finally place bankers on the road to absolution."
A think tank believes bankers should be expected to swear an oath in which they promise to behave properly, in the same way as doctors.
The think tank says it would be up to banking's trade bodies, the British Bankers' Association (BBA), the Building Societies Association and the new Banking Standards Review Council, to get the oath adopted and rolled out.
A Moral Oath for Bankers contains a set of commitments that individuals working in the banking and finance industry might agree to voluntarily adopt and apply as personal principles in their work. The Banker’s Oath is based essentially on the Hippocratic oath of doctors, which dates back 2,500 years to Greek medical pioneer Hippocrates.
Trust is the foundation of my profession.
- I will serve all interests in good faith.
- I will compete with honour.
- I will pursue my ends with ethical restraint.
- I will help create a sustainable future.
- I will help create a more just society.
- I will speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same.
- I will accept responsibility for my actions.
- In these and all other matters;
- My word is my bond.
MORAL AND ETHICAL DECLARATION OF CONDUCT
- on 9 September 2009, the Dutch Banking Association adopted the Banking Code (the "Code"), promulgating the principle that members of the executive board of a bank shall perform their tasks in a meticulous, expert and fair manner, taking into account the applicable laws, codes of conduct and regulations; and
- the Code underscores the importance of the above-mentioned principle by means of the requirement that each member of the executive board of a bank signs a moral and ethical declaration of conduct (rule 3.2.3.)- a model of which is attached to the Code; and
- each member of the executive board of Credit Europe Bank NV (the "Bank”) supports the delivery of such a declaration, so, therefore,
the undersigned, Umut Bayogtu, declares:
THAT I will perform my duties as a banker with integrity and care. I will carefully consider all the interests involved in the Bank, i.e. those of the customers, the shareholder(s), the employees and the society in which the Bank operates. I will give paramount importance to the customers' interests and inform the customer to the best of my ability.
I will comply with the laws, regulations and codes of conduct applicable to me as a banker. I will observe secrecy in respect of matters entrusted to me. I will not abuse my banking knowledge. I will act in an open and assessable manner and I know my responsibility towards society. I will endeavor to maintain and promote confidence in the banking sector.
In this way, I will uphold the reputation of the banking profession.
Moral and ethical conduct declaration
The members of the Managing Board of NIBC Bank N.V. have each signed the moral and ethical declaration below, as proposed by the Dutch Banking Code which entered into force on 1 january 2010.
"I declare that I will perform my duties as a banker with integrity and care. I will carefully consider all the interests involved in the bank, i.e. those of the clients, the shareholders, the employees and the society in which the bank operates. I will give paramount importance to the client's interests and inform the client to the best of my ability. I will comply with the laws, regulations and codes of conduct applicable to me as a banker. I will observe secrecy in respect of matters entrusted to me. I will not abuse my banking knowledge. I will act in an open and assessable manner and I know my responsibility towards society. I will endeavour to maintain and promote confidence in the banking sector. In this way, I will uphold the reputation of the banking profession."