|Subject Name:||Governance, Ethics, and Sustainability|
|Assessment Title:||Code of Conduct|
You are required to research recent news articles and other information about National Australia Bank.
You must then draft a Code of Conduct for National Australia Bank that specifically addresses
You will be required to include a minimum of 15 references in your Code of Conduct at least 5 of which must come from academic journals or textbooks.
NATIONAL AUSTRALIAN BANK CODE OF CONDUCT
For an institution to operate in a competitive market, the companies must follow strict guidelines of ethics and code of conduct. It is essential for providing the growth to the employees of the company as well as provide basic services to the customers to the best of their abilities. Thus, the need for ethics and ethical practices arises. The idea of ethics varies from person to person. So, to provide common guidelines for the employees of an organisation to follow a code of conduct is penned down by the organisation. The intent of this project is to find the various ethical issue in the National Australia Bank. The various aspects of the ethics like discrimination, confidentiality etc. have been studied in details and their implications are also studied for this research.
Every industry or institution of this world is treating discrimination with very heavy hands. The National Australia Bank is no different. Being an institution of such stature, it deals with any form of discrimination with the strict dispense of justice. The unfair practice of differentiating a person based on sex, colour, faith, beliefs, caste, creed, gender orientation or any other preferences whatsoever which are protected by the law is known as discrimination. It is an unfair practice existing in our workplaces which affects the National Australia Bank too. According to the report head of the broker service of the NAB admitted the accusation of the introducer programme breach which directly leads the bank towards the civil and criminal charges. Also, the report highlighted that only four introducers were there and among them one gym owner earner huge commission from the bank but according to the introducer programme their profession was not included in the scheme (ABC News, 2019). The stated practices also violate the company directives and core principles. The company and its employees would not discriminate, existing or potential, customers or employees on the basis of the aforementioned context. It is a violation of the code of conduct laid down by the institution. As time passes, we must grow tolerant of the needs and respect the preferences of all people. All the employees would only be judged on the basis of their merit and performance. Any other aspect of the personality of the individual will not affect the assessment of that person in any way. Thus, the discrimination of any kind is discouraged and strongly condemned by the company. The customers would also not be discriminated differentially due to their varying beliefs and principles (Howell, 2015). They would all be treated the same in accordance with company law and interests. The service will not vary due to it. The other gender should also not be violated or offended through obscene behaviours or gestures intended towards them. This will be treated as discrimination, and strict action will be taken against the perpetrators according to the law of Australia. The various laws like the Equal Opportunities Act of 2010 also ensure a common level ground of operation and assessment, and thus all of the employees are expected to observe the laws of the land
The act of taking advantage of circumstances for personal or professional gains adversely is included under exploitation. The National Australia Bank forbids the use of vulnerabilities of any other person, be it employees or customers to the personal advantage. As the employees have access to confidential information of the customers, they must not be used by the employees for personal or professional gains as this information are privy to the functional position of the employees (Batten et al., 2018). The exploitation also refers to the overstepping of the legal protections of the employees by the employer. NAB faced near about three years to solve the problem regarding the fees for no service. The employees must be treated with respect and safeguard the interest of the employees. It occurs when employees are forced to perform duties out of their ambit of functionality which harms their well-being or has not been compensated fairly by the employer for the said work. The work hours of the employees should also be restricted or must be paid incentives for the overwork albeit at the consent of the employees to it. Although, the exploitation of the talent of the employees for the positional function will not be regarded as exploitation per se. Any employee is legally protected by the minimum rights of Australia (Karger, 2015). Hence, the laws would be upheld for all conditions of working. As the employees have access to confidential information of the customers, they must not be used by the employees for personal or professional gains as this information are privy to the functional position of the employees. The customers would also not be sexually, financially or in any other way exploited. The information known to the employees must be used only for the task-related functions within the ambit of responsibility of the office held by the individual. That information must not be used, produced, distributed or disclosed for any gains of any kind (Friedman et al., 2017).
The unlawful practice while dispensing the various duties and functions of the office is known as corruption. The infringement of the laws of the land is also known as corruption. The employees of the National Australia Bank is expected to obey all the law of the land and always function in accordance with them. They must not break any laws for dispensing service to the customers or performing duties of the office. There is also various financial corruption which also falls under this category. As the employees have to handle a lot of money, investing and divesting power vested by the customers, they must do exactly as the customers ask them to do and must safeguard the interest of the customers at all costs. The employees must not use the resources of the customers or the Bank for their own personal use. The practice of illegal or dishonest practice by people of power to gain undue advantage over others is called corruption. The syphoning off of the money of the customers to other organisations without the permission or authorisation of the customers is also corruption. It is the duty of the individual employees to report to the competent authorities of any corrupt individual or suspected misbehaviour. The employees must act in accordance with the laws of the company and provide assistance to the customers within the provided scope of the office. They must not do anything to gain falsified documents or information through any unfair means or break any laws while obtaining them. The act of providing unnecessary benefits in exchange for money or gifts or favours is also a kind of corruption. The employees must educate and alert themselves on any potential risks of corruption. Any cases of corruption will be thoroughly investigated, and action will be taken against the individual (Madaryet al, 2016).
d. Dishonest and Fraudulent Behaviour
The employees of every company have sensitive and confidential information of the employees which is entrusted by the institution to deliver his professional duties and responsibilities. However, some of the employees use this privileged information for other material and financial gains other than the intended purpose. As the employees of the National Australia Bank are vested with the power of handling the money or other information of the employees, they must not deviate from the intended course of action as has been directed by the consumer or safeguarding their interests. The employees must not tweak or take advantage of any loophole of the circumstance to deprive the customers of their gains. They must not take any action to deceive the customers in any way. The customers must also be provided with full information and must be kept aloof of any changes in the situations. The customers must not be cheated of their rightful gains by the employees. The employees should not steal from the customers or the company (Altman and Ward, 2018). The property of the customers is their alone, and they should not be borrowed, converted or used for personal reasons of the employees without written consent or permissions. Any business related transaction should also be done in accordance with the management policy of the National Australia Bank. Any intended or unintended mistakes must also be brought to the notice of the customers. The employees must not conceal any omissions, errors or protect fellow colleagues of any breach of regulations. Integrity must be maintained by the employees in all dealings on behalf of the customers. The employees must not commit any fraud and dupe customers with false promises or commitments that the employee cannot keep intentionally to deviate the customers with ill intent. The employees must be honest and disclose all information pertaining to the demands of the customers (Bailey et al., 2016).
e. Whistleblower Protections
The employees of the National Australia Bank are expected to conduct themselves within the law, honestly and with integrity. They are liable to inform the company of any wrongdoings or misuse of information and resources of the customers or the bank to the significant authority. Crime chief of NSW has been confirmed the arrest of the 43 years old woman. The woman has been accused of preparing the credit cards near about $6.6 million in order to sustain an effective contact with the NAB during the year of 2013-2017 (Finextra Research, 2019).The employees cannot produce, distribute or disclose the personal and confidential information of the customers and the bank. They cannot also disclose market information to other employees or any other person who can be used for profitable gains at the expense of the customers. The employees must register complaints with the responsible authorities. The complainants are protected by whistleblower protection. It is kept in place to protect the employees of any organisation on reporting the employer or the organisation of employment of any illegal, dishonest or unfair malpractices existence in the framework. The access to the confidential information of the employees as well as the business affairs is for performing work-related tasks only. It must not be disclosed without proper permission or authorisation from the competent authority. The internal system of the National Australia Bank must also not be used for accessing any profiles of family, colleagues, friends or the general public (Gilligan et al., 2017). The person exposing the malpractices of the organisation must be protected against any potential mistreatment in the form of adverse consequences in the form decrement of salary, demotion or expulsion. The information of the complainant is kept the secret to safeguard the interest of the employees while the necessary investigation is being carried out to find the validity of approached or alleged misconduct. The employees who complain are protected so that they are not subjected to unwanted and unnecessary ill-treatment by the management or colleagues or the individual against whom the complaint has been registered. The operator information of the bank is also protected by this so that the strategical decisions and operation of the bank are not disclosed to other banks and thus incurring losses to the bank (Worthington, 2016).
The laws and code of conduct are strictly applied by the National Australia Bank to prevent any potential breach of regulations. The enforcement is carried out educating the employees of the risks and dangers involved in case of any illegal activity by the employees.There are a number of cases of infringement of laws and regulations of the company and the country. National Australian bank chief said that the number of loan approval has been decreased in last year and also interim chief of the NAB revealed in the house of representative economic committee that the ASIC’s strict policy for lending loan directly slows down the process of the bank and as a result the number of loan lending for the house become drastically decrease (Australian Financial Review, 2019).These alleged complaints are thoroughly investigated, and the necessary evidence is collected by the authorities. Third party specialist opinion is also sought for cases where needed. Upon proof of any misconduct, strict and necessary action will be taken against the individual in accordance with the laws and codes laid down by the company and the land (Gini et al., 2019).
This project has been instrumental in educating the various malpractices of the banking industry. The various aspects of the ethics and responsibilities of the employees have also been studied for this project. The various measures taken by the Bank to protect customer rights and obligations are also researched for this project. The conclusion that can be drawn from this project is that the employees of the bank must conduct themselves to the best interest of the consumers and in accordance with the law of Australia and the institution, i.e. the National Australia Bank.