As a business leader within the finance industry, you know there are plenty of reasons to incorporate an ethics policy. And taking it another step further, you could also consider establishing an ethics hotline for anonymous reporting. But what would employees report that you can’t already handle with a written policy, employee training, and HR?
What you may not realize is there is a lot of opportunity for risky behavior in the finance and banking segments. To know just how out of balance behavior can get, take a look at some of the reasons an employee might phone in an ethics hotline report.
1. Most Frequently Occurring Reports in the Finance Industry
Some of the more frequent ethical violations in the finance industry include insider trading and campaign finance issues. Others include stakeholder and stockholder interest violations. And these can all be happening within your organization without your knowledge. Having an ethics hotline provides an anonymous, retaliation-free channel. And it deputizes everyone who works for or with you to keep an eye out for these more common, unsavory violations.
2. Whenever Money Is Involved, Fraud Risks Soar
There are irresponsible financiers who mislead borrowers. There are embezzlement charges and profiteering to worry about. And in the finance industry, there are potential ethics violations to look for with regard to incentives and bonuses, too. Since you can’t be a fly on the wall with every internal company conversation or online transaction, an ethical hotline provides a secure reporting channel everyone can feel confident in using.
3. Remote Workforces Have Even Less Supervision
There is a new element presenting ethics challenges within the financial industry, remote workforces. The pandemic proved employees could be just as productive at home as they could be in the office. And many companies have transitioned to embrace the remote or hybrid variation model. This also means you have individuals in siloes with much less supervision than before. And while most are trustworthy and reliable, there is an increased risk for ethics violations. Some might try to bill hours not actually worked. Others might tamper with the numbers or misrepresent the company’s position online. Having an ethics hotline allows anyone who suspects a violation to report it, allow you to take a deeper dive into the behavior in question.
4. More Online Activity Means More Risk of Data Mishandling
Not all ethics violations are intentional. Since much of your business is conducted online or by leveraging online resources, there are additional online risks to consider. Data breaches happen, especially when unsuspecting workers accidentally share or click the wrong box. Additionally, there is intentional data sharing that can be detrimental to your finance business. Criminals pay big money for personal information, financial information, and trade secrets. An ethics hotline can help you prevent and/or react quickly to reports of any of these digital-based violations.
In your finance or banking business, you need an ethics hotline to help protect your bottom line. It can also ensure you operate within a guide of fiscal responsibility at every level of operations. And as your industry dynamics continue to evolve, your ethics hotline will always be available to help. Contact Ethical Advocate today and explore setting up yours!