How can robust ethical standards and integrity be boosted in the finance sector?

accapr —  28 November 2014 — Leave a comment

Ethics in Finance Robin Cosgrove Prize 2014-2015

By Carol Cosgrove-Sacks, Director, Ethics in Finance Robin Cosgrove Prize

How can robust ethical standards and integrity be boosted in the finance sector?

All financial firms depend on maintaining trust with their clients. Without trust, the public value a firm possesses quite simply disappears.

So I want to start this blog by posing a series of questions that I hope get you thinking about trust and ethics in finance:

Would you put your money in a bank you don’t fully trust? Would you give your confidential financial information to an accountancy firm if you feared they might reveal your data to a competitor? Why would you insure your life or your assets with a group if there were doubts about its trustworthiness? Would you invest in an enterprise if you doubted the credibility of their accounts? What responsibility does younger staff working in the finance sector have for promoting stronger commitment to trust, ethics and integrity.

To address these questions, and to hopefully find solutions, the Ethics in Finance Robin Cosgrove Prize has launched a global debate on these issues, and is seeking fresh ideas to inspire young people working — or hoping to work — in the financial services sector.

A recent study by economic scientists from the University of Zurich in Switzerland looked into business culture and dishonesty in the banking sector. Published in Nature magazine, the report revealed that “prevailing business culture in the banking industry weakens and undermines the honesty norm, implying that measures to re-establish an honest culture are very important.”

The Prize has become an iconic influence in stimulating innovative approaches to ethics in finance. Doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do may sound simple, but there seems to have been rather a lot of confusion in recent years about what is “right” in terms of corporate and personal ethics and integrity.

The Prize was first launched in 2006 to promote the sustainable and responsible future development of young finance professionals, consistent with the vision of Robin, a young investment banker who died in an accident on Mont Blanc.

The book TRUST & ETHICS IN FINANCE (2012) brought together the best papers submitted for the first three Prize competitions, and it is now recommended by the IMF to promote awareness of Ethics in Finance.

The 2014-20145 Prize – An agent of change

The prestigious Prize now enters its 5th edition, with $20,000 to be awarded to young finance professionals writing about their “Innovative Ideas for Ethics in Finance”. The Prize was launched in London by ACCA Global and the closing date for the 2014-2015 competition is 15 April 2015.

The 2014-2015 Prize is supported by the global Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants [ACCA] and by the CFA Institute. The Prize competition is open to those aged 35 or less, and papers may be submitted in English or in French.

The Ethics in Finance Robin Cosgrove Prize is proving to be an agent of change going beyond compliance issues and promoting a refreshing approach — look at the website, see how you might contribute to this important debate, and write about your ideas to make a difference and promote innovative ideas for ethics in finance – you should complete an Expression of Interest and obtain the rules from

Please get involved and add your voice.


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