YOUR HIP POCKET
MANDATORY reporting. I’m just going to put it out there. No beating about the bush. No politically correct or incorrect musings.
I want all financial service providers and staff to be placed under mandatory reporting laws.
That means they’ll be compelled by law to report “suspected” financial abuse or misconduct.
That means they’ll be personally liable and accountable for keeping “mum” or turning a blind eye, either because they were coerced with bonuses or bullied in to letting the bad behaviour continue.
That means they’ll lose their jobs, reputations, professional associations and face criminal charges if they don’t report suspected misconduct.
If we had mandatory reporting across all financial service providers we would not have the current widespread corruption and dishonesty within our banking and finance companies.
We would not have the thousands of frontline staff tarred and corrupted by association through their managers and boardrooms.
If we had mandatory reporting, then the criminal behaviour, the devastating intergenerational financial damage, the suicides and the bankruptcies caused by this misconduct could have been avoided.
Families could still be in their homes, businesses operating and insurance payouts received.
Unfortunately, it has been the corporate culture coming out of boards that has encouraged and allowed the unethical behaviour to flourish. And the word quickly spread throughout these organisations.
The lack of ethics also appears to have become entrenched at the floor level, the back offices, the front counters, middle management and upper management.
Most, if not all finance employees would have come in to contact with the victims of their organisations’ dishonesty.
Thousands of employees would have been aware of the complaints and pleadings and exhaustion of their customers as they continued to be abused and ripped off. Yet they turned a blind eye.
To paraphrase a well known saying: Evil is allowed to triumph when good men do nothing.
Mandatory reporting of suspected and potential financial misconduct will help stop people turning a blind eye.
It will give them additional legitimacy for speaking out and the courage to break away from the rotten corporate culture they have had to work under.
But, hey, why stop at the financial sector; what about the aged-care industry?
How have we got to the point in our society that abuse of frail and vulnerable people goes unreported by people and organisations choosing to look the other way? People and organisations that are making a financial gain from not reporting this behaviour.
Or the sports sector — ball tampering, dodgy shoulder charges, drug cheats.
As a society we are prepared to let some people “get off” or continue their dishonesty because we like them or we might personally gain. We want our team to win, our sports hero to be number one or a bigger payout from a bet.
Or even parliament. Why is it ministers and those in the know will turn a blind eye when it suits them? Why wasn’t Peter Dutton’s eligibility to be in parliament challenged before he tried to take the top job from Malcolm Turnbull? Why wasn’t his involvement in migration decisions raised months if not years earlier?
Honesty and ethics are not be optional.