Graeme Willis - August 2018
In recent months, the Royal Commission into misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has highlighted one extraordinary revelation after another.
As a Director of Bank First, I have asked myself could this happen to our Bank? This led me to review the details of the incidents and various reports prepared by Regulators and others following the findings from the Royal Commission and the implications of these.
While you can never say unexpected events will not occur, I draw strong comfort from the fact that the leadership from both Board and Management is values based. This has been the case since inception of the organisation and something that has not been forgotten and therefore never left our Bank. See our story here.
Why is this approach so important? One of the learnings that I feel has emerged from the Royal Commission to date is that it’s very hard to legislate for behaviour. Regulators can make policy requirements and comment on culture but the day-to-day decisions are heavily influenced by the behaviours that are accepted within the organisation.
It is the organisational values when dealing with customers, other employees and key stakeholders that guide behaviours and consequently the decision making from the Board to the front line managers. It is the values of authenticity, transparency, caring for others, and doing the right thing that set the tone that pervades the decision-making within the Bank. It also enables greater empowerment as decision makers have confidence that if they live the values and operate within the organisational governance framework, then it’s likely to be the right decision.
I draw comfort from the knowledge that within Bank First the values are not just a piece of paper on the wall but rather the way we do business with all our key stakeholders including you.