The financial services industry has enhanced its practices after the global financial crisis, thereby promoting ethical leadership, Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman has said.
In his keynote at the panel discussion on “Ethical leadership in industry and business — responsibility and risk in the global era” at the HBKU Students Centre at Education City, he highlighted how the banking industry was shaping up after the global financial crisis.
“The de-regulation environment prior to crisis became re-regulation and after the financial crisis the capital and liquidity rules have changed to regulate leverage and strengthen liquidity. The regulation in credit card segment and derivatives has happened after the crisis. Excess leveraging contributed to the global financial crisis. The recent fines and penalties faced by banks also reflect on the fact that enhanced compliance is necessary. Strengthened regulation also encouraged ethical behaviour. The re-regulation is in the making, which should focus on our basics. Enterprise risk integration and whistle blowing policies are also implemented as part of enhanced regulation.”
On balancing financial and ethical measures, he said, “There is a need to keep a fair balance between financial and ethical measures. This is not only important but also critical as far as financial institutions are concerned. Banking should revolve on ethical and moral framework. Banking is to create a goodwill and sustainability is the key.”
He pointed out that the global financial crisis had arisen on account of failure in ethical leadership.
“Madoff is also a clear case of unethical leadership. We need to strike a balance among various stakeholders. Staff and society are equally important. Execution score card should be ethical. Rewarding schemes should be in line with performance framework and contribution to society should be there as part of sustainable development. There is no legislation for ethics; however, ethical governance is the need of the hour. It is important for every leader to practice and to instil in their institution good ethical measures.”
The session was held as part of the three-day International Ethics Summit themed “Morality in the global era- theory, policy and praxis”. It was moderated by Dr Eyad Masad, vice-dean, Texas A&M University in Doha. The panel also comprised Dr Mohamed Yousef al-Mulla, managing director and CEO, Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco); and Dr Todd A Laursen, president, Khalifa University, UAE.
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