Financial services consist of a range array of activities that safeguard and deploy financial assets with billions of financial transactions taking place every day. This large volume of financial activity creates opportunities for misconduct. As recently as July 2019 a high-profile financial advisor allegedly misappropriated R100 million from investors by placing their funds in unregulated products. Such unethical actions are all too frequent in the financial services industry – names like Tannenbaum, Madorff, J Arthur Brown, Herman Pretorius, MF Global, Leaderguard Securities and Sharemax come to mind.
The act of placing funds and other financial assets in the hands of the financial services industry requires a great deal of trust from customers. If financial services providers such as financial advisors, fund managers, bankers or brokers fail to act in an ethical and trustworthy manner the potential cost to customers and society as a whole is high. Consequently the financial services industry is held to a high standard of ethical behavior and is subject to a higher standard of regulatory intervention and oversight. Professionals in the financial services industry , in whatever role, occupation or profession, should consistently act in line with their ethical obligations and if applicable, organisational values and standards too.
This one-day workshop aims to give a general introduction to ethics and to explain ethical issues specific to financial services and financial markets. Throughout the workshop case studies will be presented to cement the concepts discussed.