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The Banking Executive Accountability Regime should be irrelevant to professional, community-focused bankers

by Lewis Panther | 12 Mar 2020
The Banking Executive Accountability Regime should be irrelevant to professional, community-focused bankers.

That’s the view of Chartered Banker Stephen Mifsud, who recently graduated through FINSIA’s accelerated 12-week intensive pathway.
 
“If you are passionate about doing the right thing whether BEAR's there or not becomes irrelevant,” the Judo Bank managing director told InFinance.

“In my mind it's legislation that basically ensures senior executives are accountable for their actions.

“But I think if you start out from a point where the culture you have in a business is centred around doing the right thing that is the simplest solution we need to adopt.

“If you always come from a place where your professionalism and your integrity are paramount and you want to do the right thing by the customers and by the community then BEAR shouldn’t be needed. 

“I know we cannot say it is irrelevant because I understand we need safe guards there.

“But you could argue that if you come to work to do the right thing every day, you probably don't need it. 

“I guess the unfortunate thing is that I would love to think that the entire industry would sign up to this, but maybe that won't be the case.”

Like others who have been through the course, the ability to take a step back and reflect was a crucial component.

“Just being allowed the time and the space to reflect back on your career, and to think about how you've grown and developed as a professional is fantastic,” he said.

“It provides a methodology to allow you to learn and develop and continue to do so - as opposed to just teaching you a process or system. 

“By reflecting on your entire career, and then take the learning from that around what you thought at that particular point in time versus what you think now is a real benefit.”

While the accelerated pathway may be short, he says it is “very, very demanding. But I think what you walk away with is well worth it, and I would obviously recommend it to everybody.

“Having worked in chartered accounting, I see the value firsthand that Chartered starts brings to an industry.

“As a banking industry to be able to leverage something similar is what is needed. 

“This makes it sort of world class.

“I would like to think that the leaders in the industry will actually support it. Let’s hope so.

“For our bankers who can get through on by experience, fantastic, but for the less senior bankers, there is a program to proficiency that as a bank we'll look to support.”

Highlighting some tips of for those thinking about the course, he said: “If you think this is sort of just a tick-a-box course, I will be absolutely clear that it is not. 

“Whilst the content is not necessarily over complex, the actual theories, and the full process, and the thinking required behind it, really draws out those who fundamentally understand banking and what we're trying to achieve versus those individuals who can rote learn. 

“You need to fundamentally understand that to be able to deliver to it. So, understanding and application for me is probably key.

“In my mind, chartered banker will distinguish those who have the qualification. It will make the distinction between the best and the rest.”

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