Experts divided on value of ethics for financial advisers

 

"A course in ethics cannot make a saint from a crook," Professor Degraeve says.

​At the heart of recent financial scandals that have cost thousands of Australian investors their life savings is a question of ethical behaviour.

Melbourne Business School dean Zeger Degraeve says that while ethical education is not a silver bullet, it can assist in the long run in improving corporate behaviour.

"A course in ethics cannot make a saint from a crook," Professor Degraeve says.

"If someone wants to behave unethically, a course won't change that intention. But a course can provide someone who wants to behave ethically with the supports, tools and aids to engage in ethical behaviour."

By changing internal culture and encouraging ethical behaviour, organisations could shift in the right direction at crucial moments.

"You create an expectation of ethical behaviour. It becomes part of the day to day discussion in an organisation," he says.

Original article published in Australian Financial Review​, Education, Page 27, 22/09/2014​