No sex please, we’re BNZish

StockingsBNZ has recently announced a new Code of Conduct, which comes into effect last week.

Included in the code is a small section called ‘Conflict of Interest’ which requires that employees seek guidance from their people leader to determine whether a conflict of interest exists in the following situations:

When a family member or partner of an employee becomes employed or is employed by a competitor of the Bank then a conflict may arise.

Finsec has some concerns about the Code of Conduct. Why weren’t staff consulted? Isn’t this all a bit invasive and prurient? Do the majority of staff really have that many commercially sensitive secrets that the bank should be worried about being disclosed over a pillow?

If taken to an extreme this policy could see bank managers interfering in people’s private lives , wanting to approve who they can enter a relationship with and how. Now we know that most bank mangers at BNZ wouldn’t behave in this way, but we also know that most bank tellers at BNZ would not be able to disclose much about BNZ’s international hedge fund trading strategy or its business acquisitions portfolio.

The policy also seems somewhat arbitrary. Why does it focus for instance upon partners and family members when people can also talk about what goes on at work (and often choose not to) to friends, colleagues, bus drivers, talkshow hosts and others. So two major problems with the code – it focuses on people’s private lives, rather than their responsibility as employees, and it seems to focus on the wrong people. Surely those with the biggest potential conflict of interest are somewhat higher up the salary chain than the average BNZ worker.

(thanks to duboff for the photo)


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