Banking Bad Behaviour. What are the lessons for you?

The Interim Report of the Banking Royal Commission has been released by Commissioner Haynes. As we are all aware, the Commission exposed significant bad behaviour on the part of our banks and other financial institution. Some activities look as though they have been illegal. Much of what we have heard is certainly unethical.

It’s no surprise then, that Commissioner Haynes had some harsh words to say about the finance industry in his report.

He asks the questions “..why such poor conduct had occurred and how to stop it happening again”.

Commissioner Haynes answer to the first question is simple. “… greed. The pursuit of short-term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty.”

Do you live in a glass house?

There is an old saying that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Similarly, while it is very (ok, extremely) easy to throw stones at the financial institutions that have behaved so badly (there really is no excuse for charging dead people for advice), we need to be mindful of what we are doing in our own businesses.

Would you be happy to have your business practices featured on the front page of the daily newspaper? Or on Facebook?

Where would your business stumble?

There are several areas that a small business owner could fall down on, but there is one that stands out.

Paying your suppliers. We know that Australian businesses are the worst in the world at paying their bills. On average, it takes 26.4 days for an Australian company to get paid. This epidemic of late payment contributes to poor cash flow for SMEs, which cost the economy some $234 Billion in 2017. Every small business owner knows the angst of waiting for payment.

So next time you see the Banking Royal Commission being discussed on the TV news, it might be time for you to take a minute and reflect on the things you are doing inside your own business.

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