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Everybody agrees that integrity, transparency and collaboration are all desirable attributes. However, beyond token declarations, ethical standards prove notably difficult to maintain in the financial industry.
The technological transformation of the financial ecosystem is impacting financial culture and could provide a unique opportunity to review the definition of business success by including ethical criteria. Ethics doesn’t stand in the way of ROI. It deepens the perspective on what it means for a business to be successful, without weakening the importance of other performance indicators.
Customers are more ethically conscious than ever before, better informed and more sceptical of woolly promises. There is a real appetite for ethical standards but it requires tangible models to become available to all, for implementation, governance and rating.
Our conception of business ethics is often profoundly unhelpful for day-to-day decisions. Individuals bear all the weight of moral decisions in systems that are not designed to cope with ethical considerations. Businesses need to make ethics a visible and tangible dimension throughout their organisations.
With Fintech players offering their views, we will sketch the contours of an ethical framework. We will highlight how ethical indicators can help us make better, faster and safer decisions through examples of implementation at various levels:
- The founders’ purpose: investing in the culture.
- Company governance structure: defining ethical standards for the company, how they are measured and the consequences if they fail to be met.
- Execution: implementing the framework for ethical indicators (e.g., customer relationships, technical decisions, HR policies etc…).
- The role of individual accountability: what it means and what it does not mean.
Fintech ecosystem will transform financial technology, but its real challenge will be to rewrite perceptions and make it an industry we are all proud to work for.