Now that the major banks have indicated in official media statements they will not rely on Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to gag people from communicating with the Banking Royal Commission, the Finance Sector Union of Australia is calling on the banks to communicate clearly to their workers what this means for them.
Only when the banks indicate to their staff exactly how far the exemption extends, will front-line workers feel safe to speak out and tell their stories about the toxic culture they’ve experienced.
“Under normal circumstances, it is impossible for current bank staff to speak to anyone about their employer because of stringent codes of conduct which the banks all routinely use to silence workers,” said FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano.
“If the banks and the community are to benefit from the change this Royal Commission could bring to banking, then ‘whistle-blowers’ inside the system must be encouraged to come forward.”
“We need this Royal Commission to get the full and complete picture about the culture and excesses in banking.”
Ms Angrisano said bank workers need written assurances from their employers that they are permitted to communicate with the Royal Commission, make submissions and give evidence without jeopardising their employment.
“It is essential that the banks’ ‘dirty laundry’ is properly aired and that the Royal Commission is able to reveal the full facts about banking scandals, the ones we know about and the others that the inquiry will unearth, which have dragged down the reputation of our banks.”
Ms Angrisano said bank workers were proud of the service they traditionally delivered to the community and were keen to see a return to a focus on customer service rather than the relentless pursuit of sales targets, even to the point where customers were sometimes sold financial products which were not in their best interests.
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