A different sort of credit where it’s due for our banks

Person using mobile banking to pay at cafeEthically placing people at the centre of a commercial enterprise will ultimately pay dividends in trust and ongoing customer engagement and it is positive to see that some banks are doing just that at a time of great need. Providing relief to small businesses and reducing mortgage stress during this crisis is not only the right thing to do but it can also help banking customers view banks through a renewed positive, some might say nostalgic lens.

Banks have an opportunity to demonstrate positive social conscience and distance their enterprise from the unethical behaviours revealed in the recent royal commission – provided they learned from them. Such an opportunity requires banks to demonstrate long term behaviours of support to customers.

Person using online banking on laptop and mobile in cafe

In this way, banks would do well to remember the iceberg analogy-that is once the tip of the crisis has past businesses and people will require longer-term assistance to fully recover. It is during this longer-term recovery that banks have the opportunity to truly re-establish their sense of partnership in the eyes of the community.

Dr Shari Read‘s blog (Seeing the opportunity in crisis: Part 1 – High Reliability Organisations) talks about characteristics of businesses that are able to harness opportunity in challenging times. This is certainly one of those challenging times and a great opportunity for banks. Traditionally, society has relied on the law to ensure the people we should be able to trust will do the right thing (see What’s so hard about doing the right thing in the business world? But acting ethically won’t just save organisation’s money on lawsuits, it will also reduce the risk of market share loss due to reputational harm.

Explore how to promote ethical behaviour and foster integrity with the QUTeX Ethical Leadership in Practice series.

Leading Through Turbulent Times Program


Dr Mark Harvey is the founder of Raise the Bar - a unique, best practice assurance program for organisations to align the values and expectations of the organisation and its stakeholders (including regulatory and legal requirements) with all organisational systems and practices. The Raise the Bar Program is academically validated, supported and co-branded by QUTeX.

Write A Comment