Good Sunday Reading on Bankers wishing they had a modicum of integrity......................................whilst running sub prime scams...............

The Banking and Finance Ethics Panel was established in 2010 by leaders from the banking and finance industry led by the St James Ethics Centre's Consulting Fellow for Ethics in Banking and Finance, Clare Payne.

The Banking and Finance Ethics Panel comprised:

  • Stephen Fitzgerald, formerly Chief Executive Officer, Goldman Sachs
  • Steven Harker, Chief Executive & Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
  • Stephen Dunne, Managing Director, AMP Capital
  • David Cohen, Group General Counsel, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Trevor Rowe AO, Executive Chairman, Rothschild Australia
  • Steve Tucker, Chief Executive Officer, MLC
  • David Bell, formerly Group General Counsel, Westpac Banking Corporation
  • Dr Simon Longstaff, Executive Director, St James Ethics Centre
  • Clare Payne, Consulting Fellow, St James Ethics Centre and former Director of the Integrity Office of Macquarie Bank
  • Amanda McCluskey, Senior Investment Manager and Co-Head of Sustainable Funds, First State Stewart Asia Pacific , Singapore

The Banking and Finance Oath


Love that last one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Taking the wolf out of Wall Street


Clare Payne recalls that when she was an associate director man aging the Integrity Office of Macquarie Bank, “people outside, and sometimes within the industry, would scoff at the title of my role, suggesting it wasn’t taken seriously”.  It was just after the global financial crisis, and the dominant public response was to abandon trust in the finance industry en masse and demand tougher laws to police bad behaviour. Payne decided that something more was needed. She joined the St James Ethics Centre as a consulting fellow and started writing to industry leaders to see what they thought should be done about the shaky image of the industry’s ethics............“I don’t think we have been active enough in selling the message to a broad enough group of people,” says ANZ Australia chief executive Phil Chronican. He is the only major bank executive who has signed, so far and acknowledges the BFO will need more resources to get the message out.


There are risks to joining. A 12-person BFO Panel will review individual cases of unethical behaviour. The panel can name and shame signatories, and ultimately remove from the signatory list those they believe are guilty of not upholding the desired ethical standards of the BFO. But only members can be so exposed.

So far only 100 people have taken the oath,.................Unlike the proverbial elephant in the room, which everyone sees but doesn’t talk about, sentiments like “everyone else is doing it” or “because it’s always been done that way” create willful blindness. “The BFO will help take the blinkers off so that we start to have that questioning,” he says. The main area where the industry needs to strengthen its focus is in fiduciary duty to clients. Pauline Vamos, chairman of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, who sits on the BFO board, adds :“We need to be more open about talking about and calling each other on ethical issues. “I haven’t seen the movie [The Wolf of Wall Street] yet. Doesn’t it all go pear shaped in the end? There has to be a good message there!”

Pauline Vamos - another refugee from the ASIC gene-pool................................Have they named and shamed any colleagues as yet?


Sunday 27th April 2014

A number of industry executives have decided to tackle the banking and financial sector's reputational issues by devising an oath. Members of Australia's banking and financial services sector have put aside rivalries and created an industry oath to tackle the sector's reputational issues.  

The Banking and Finance Oath (BFO), established 18 months ago, is chaired by AMP Capital managing director Stephen Dunne and championed by seven fellow industry executives and BFO board members, including Morgan Stanley Australia managing director Steven Harker, and MLC chief executive Steve Tucker.  "Our industry cops a lot of flack. Financial services, globally, has not done so well in the last four or five years," Tucker told an audience at yesterday's American Chamber of Commerce In Australia business briefing.  "A lot of people have challenged the fact that we actually act in our clients' interest. We have to change that and there are a lot of different thoughts and views on that."  He said the BFO was created to stress to investors that the negative perceptions and realities of the industry are not because the companies do the wrong thing, but because the people do the wrong thing.  At the time of writing, the BFO website has 25 signatories from industry participants, including all BFO board members.  The remaining signatories include Colonial First State general manager of strategy Nicolette Rubinsztein, MLC Advice Solutions general manager Tom Reddacliff, Credit Suisse equities director Simon Bolles, NAB Wholesale Bank Strategy senior adviser Dennis Gentilin, to name a few   The oath also calls on individuals to help create a more just society, speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same, accept responsibility for my actions, and that 'My word is my bond'.
Individuals can sign the BFO on the group's website (  To sign the oath there is an annual membership fee of AUD$20.


Thursday, 10 April 2014

ANZ has entered into an agreement with Equity Trustees to sell ANZ Trustees for $150 million.  The sale of ANZ Trustees is part of a continuing focus on the key elements of our wealth strategy which are to help our customers grow, protect and better connect with their wealth," said ANZ chief executive, global wealth, Joyce Phillips.  “We will retain our Philanthropic Advice, Estate Planning, Investment Management and Alternative Investment capabilities as part of our range of wealth solutions," she said.  “Equity Trustees is Australia’s largest independent trustee services company with the scale to deliver more efficient trustee administration services. ANZ Trustees is a natural fit for them in a consolidating sector," said Ms Phillips.  “Our broader long-term relationship with Equity Trustees will also add value to clients of both businesses. ANZ’s clients will continue to have access to specialist trustee administration services while ANZ will work with Equity Trustees to determine a suite of banking and other potential solutions for Equity Trustees' clients,” said Ms Phillips...............The transaction is expected to be completed in July 2014 subject to regulatory approval.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Industry Super Australia has called on the “major banks” to rule out legal action, as the FSC seeks an “urgent hearing” to challenge the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC's) default fund expert panel.  In a statement issued yesterday, the Financial Services Council announced it has requested a hearing before the FWC prior to the deadline for MySuper applications on April 28, in order to challenge the “validity of the expert panel’s constitution and its ability to proceed with the review of default superannuation funds in modern awards”.  “The FSC is calling on the Fair Work Commission to allow us to make submissions on the current constitution of the expert panel which selects MySuper funds eligible for awards,” said FSC chief executive John Brogden.  “The extraordinary move by the Fair Work Commission president to appoint himself to the expert panel is not enough to remedy this issue.  “The expert panel must be validly reconstituted before the process can proceed. The process is fast losing the confidence of the industry and must be urgently remedied.”  The exchange between the two lobby groups follows the FSC’s previous suggestion that the FWC role in selecting default MySuper funds facilitates a “closed shop” scenario which “explicitly favours superannuation funds owned by unions and employer organisations”.

Wednesday, 09 April 2014

Managed account provider Wealth Within has responded to two infringement notices issued by the corporate regulator. The two $10,200 infringement notices, obtained by InvestorDaily, relate to the manner in which Wealth Within advertised the performance of its Direct Equity Managed Account Service. The Wealth Within advertisement listed average annual returns for its Blue Chip and Growth portfolios of 14.56 per cent and 23.35 per cent, respectively, over the eight years since inception to 6 April 2011. ASIC said the figures listed in the advertisement were “false and misleading” because they failed to take into account the returns on the cash holdings in each portfolio. The regulator also took exception to the average annual returns, which were calculated using an arithmetic average of the eight year total return for each portfolio.


“This method of calculation did not take into account the compounding effect of each year of investment in a portfolio, meaning that the published average annual return overstated the true average annual return for each portfolio,” said ASIC. The second infringement notice related to the use the use of the word ‘may’ in the advertisement’s qualifying statement. Speaking to InvestorDaily, Wealth Within co-founder and chief analyst Dale Gillham said Wealth Within had accepted ASIC’s decision – but the firm “doesn’t necessarily believe it’s justified”. “There’s no way we can fight it because we’re too small. It would send us broke. You need half a million dollars to fight ASIC in the courts,” he said.