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Ethics & Trust in Finance Prize launched

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Young professionals and academics interested in participating can submit  papers until July 31









​BRUSSELS, 9 March 2017 – The Observatoir de la Finance, in partnership with the CFA Institute and Euroclear, lauched yesterday the 6th edition of the "Ethics & Trust in Finance". This Global Prize aims at promoting awareness on the importance of ethics in financial services and rebuilding trust in a renewed financial sector. Professionals and academics under 35 years old are invited to submit unpublished papers until the 31st of July 2017.

The role of regulators

During the launching ceremony, held at the Leopold hotel in Brussels, the Member of the European Parliament Pervenche Berès highlighted that the economic crisis that began in 2007 was a result of many factors, including the failure of regulators to read between the lines. "Anyhow, behind any crisis there is always an unethical human behaviour", she said, adding that this prize will encourage people working in the financial sector not to just act like machines, but to stop and think about the consequences of their acts.

Berès also stated that there cannot be ethics in finance if the market is self-regulated and that regulators still need to tackle the issues of taxation and remuneration: "The first step is to ask for full transparency and have a country by country input". She concluded that regulators and supervisors also to make sure they do not mix personal and professional relations with stakeholders.

Roundtable discussion

Following the MEP's keynote address, a roundtable addressed issues such as the role and forms of training, ethics in a world of robots, how corporations can embed trust in their cultures, the intercultural dimension of ethics and trust and what to expect from regulators and policy makers.

The Head of the Regulatory Outreach EMEA of the CFA Institute Josina Karmeling cited what she considers to be good initiatives of the Dutch government to help increase ethics in the financial sector. One is the establishment of a Disciplinary Committee, and the other is the creation of a living CV system, which keeps record of CEOs actions and is available to the public. "It is important for regulators to manage the profession, financial education and behavioural aspects", she said.

The Winner of the Prize in 2015 Ross Murdoch stated that during his research he realised many people want to do the right thing, however, the context does not contribute to that: "When placed in an environment, people's decisions can be shaped. It is important to create a culture where people are encouraged to speak up".

Euroclear Managing Director and Head of Asset Servicing and Transactions Operations Stéphane Bernard stated he was convinced that having employees of different cultures and backgrounds contributed to maintaining ethics in the business. "At the end of the day ethical companies will be more successful because they will have a better reputation", he said, adding that artificial intelligence services will bring the need of more transparency.

The Co-president of the Jury of the Prize Prof. Paul H. Dembinski concluded that there are three steps in the ethical process: to think outside of the box, to speak up and to whistle blow.

For more information on the prize, visit the website www.ethicsinfinance.org