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Bankers told to have zero tolerance for graft

15th May, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Bankers have been reminded that as guardians of public trust, they must uphold integrity and have zero tolerance for corruption.

Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB) chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said this at the 2nd Chartered Banker Conferment and 21st Graduation Ceremony held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here last Saturday.

Addressing over 1,600 graduates, Azman emphasised that bankers must have zero tolerance for corruption, as the profession demands the highest levels of integrity and upholding of public trust.

“May I remind you today, that the very heart of banking is still trust. We are in the business where people put their money in banks because they trust us, hence our responsibility to protect the integrity and stability of the banking system, which underpins public trust and confidence in the financial industry.”

Guest of honour Bank Negara Malaysia Governor, Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim, said in a special address that as “guardians of public trust”, bankers must protect the system against any threats, including protecting against abuse, misconduct and exploitation.

“No banker should tolerate misselling of products to customers which are not suited to their needs. No banker should tolerate charging excessive and hidden fees to unsuspecting customers and use these fees to excessively enrich themselves. No banker should tolerate unethical and illegal behaviour of a fellow colleague. No banker should tolerate any wrong doing or misconduct. The currency of bankers is not money but trust. Loss of trust is calamitous for the profession.”

Muhammad said AICB played a crucial role in Malaysia in upholding the values of honesty and integrity and ensuring professionalism, trust and confidence through its Chartered Banker accreditation.

“The syllabus for this qualification places importance on ethics and professional standards. The requirement for fresh graduates to undergo an induction course on ethics is also a good starting point. There are other initiatives in store, we will step up efforts to ensure that the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of leaders of financial institutions are clear and transparent. To this end, consultations with the industry will be conducted this year on proposals to sharpen accountability of individuals holding senior roles.”

The central bank governor added that effective this July 1, it will be a requirement for financial institutions to screen all new hires for their employment history and criminal records.

“Financial institutions will be required to keep proper records related to employees and to provide the required information when requested by another institution. This will guard the system against disreputable staff and enact barriers against potential threats to the integrity of the system.”

Earlier, Tan Sri Azman encouraged graduates to aim to be recognised as Chartered Bankers, the “gold standard” in banking qualifications offered by the Institute and conferred jointly with its strategic partner, the Chartered Banker Institute, UK.

Thirty-two eminent bankers were jointly-conferred the Fellow Chartered Banker and Chartered Banker status along with over 1,600 graduates for AICB’s various professional banking qualifications.

AICB Chief Executive Prasad Padmanaban said the Institute’s membership has risen from 12,000 in December 2017 to over 17,000 to date, with international members in Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Maldives.

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