Finance, Banking Professionals Considered Most Unethical In Australia

The Governance Institute of Australia’s 2018 Ethics Index revealed that public trust in banking and financial services is at a new low.

Financial sector professionals are considered among the least trustworthy in Australia, a new study by the GIA (Governance Institute of Australia) found.

The annual ethics index studies the overall importance of ethics to the Australian public, comparing it to the level of ethical behaviour found in a number of industries and occupations.

In its 2018 Ethics Index, the GIA found that Australians are much more concerned about unethical behaviour at banks and financial services providers following the revelations of misconduct in the banking royal commission.

Banking, finance and insurance was the lowest rated category for the third year, with some 55 percent of respondents considering the sector unethical compared to only 28 percent who view it as ethical. The financial sector’s net score dropped to a new low at -15, down three points from last year.

Bank managers, financial planners and mortgage brokers all saw their net score drop as professions compared to last year. Executive salaries was the most important reason why they were considered unethical, followed by bribery and corruption, executive bonuses, insufficient regulation and treatment of customers.

“Australians expect high standards from their financial institutions, but our research suggests that these are far from being met,” GIA chief executive Steven Burrell said. “The community’s faith in some of the country’s biggest corporations has been sorely tested, following a turbulent 12 months in Australia’s banking finance and insurance industry.

“The index suggests numerous high-profile scandals and the alarming corporate breaches being revealed on a daily basis by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, are undermining confidence in the sector,” Burrell said.

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