ethics

Code of Ethics

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Introduction

This Code of Ethics lays down the fundamental principles and professional conducts expected of all employees serving in SME Bank Ltd throughout Pakistan.

  • Integrity
  • Confidentiality
  • Professionalism
  • Compliance

The standard set out in this code will be regarded as the minimum standard of ethical behavior to be observed by all employees. They are further reflected in the detail of actual Codes of Practice which have been adopted on various aspects of banking and which are published as part of this document. This Code of Ethics will serve as a model for individual employees, who are free to adopted additional measures as and when required and to integrate it in to their existing codes.

1. Integrity

(a) All employees are required to behave with integrity and honesty in their dealings.
  i. With customers and other parties with whom they interact and
  ii. in respect of all internal matters.
(b) Circumstances may arise where an employee directly or indirectly hold a business interest which conflicts with the bank’s interest. In order to ensure that the bank makes objective decisions, employees must declare in advance that internal authority, and they may be required by the bank that relates to such personal conflicts.
(c) Employees must not solicit or accept gifts, sponsorships, hospitality services which would compromise, or keep the appearance of compromising, their position or any business decision take by on behalf of their employer, however an employee may except a gift that does not exceed a value of Rs. 100/- or otherwise as decided by the management of the bank.
(d) No employee should borrow money from and led to any employee of the bank unless prior permission from the competent authority is already sought.

2. Whistle Blowing

Any suspected material violation of a law, regulation or ethical standard must be reported to the Head of Investigation Division. Where appropriate, Head of Investigation Division will report the matter to the relevant statutory authority.

3. Conflict of Interest

(a) Any involvement in an outside activity or any external position held must not give rise to any real or apparent conflict of interest and it must not adversely reflect on the bank and must not interfere with an individual job performance.
(b) Circumstances should be avoided in which personal interest conflict, or may appear to conflict with the interest of the bank or it customers.
(c) All staff involved in funds management process shall refrain from personal business activities that could conflict with proper execution and management of policies of the organization or that could impair their ability to make impartial decisions.
(d) All staff involved in funds management process shall refrain from undertaking personal investment transactions with the same organization with which business is conducted on behalf of the bank.

4. Confidentiality

(a) All employees have a duty to safe guard confidential information obtained in the normal course of business. Respect of customers private affairs merit the same care as does the protection of bank’s funds or other interest.
(b) This duty of confidentiality involves not divulging information to third parties or other than in the following circumstances where the party concerned.
  i. has given permission to do so.
  ii. where an bank is legally compelled to do so.
  iii. where there is a duty to the public to disclose, and
  iv. where it is necessary for the bank to present it case e.g in court or in other circumstances of a related nature.
  v. Confidentiality applies whether the information has been obtained from those with whom the bank does business or from a source with in a bank. All such information should only be used for the personal benefit of any individual.
  vi. All employees must signed declaration of confidentiality/secrecy and must comply with the procedure and regulations in place with in the bank. These procedures/regualations are designed to manage and must comply with in the procedure and regulations in place within their bank. These procedures and regulation are designed to manage and segregate confidential information and to prevent its inadvertent and misuse.
(c) No employee shall be allowed to take any confidential document outside the office/bank premises unless prior approval has been sought from his or her immediate supervisor.

5. Professionalism

(a) All employees should carry out their responsibilities in a professional and courteous manner at all times.
(b) Professionalism embraces the necessary skills, qualifications and knowledge to undertake tasks in competent manner.
(c) Employees must conduct their own financial affairs in prudent manner and should avoid financial situation that could reflect unfavourably on themselves, their bank, or its customers.
(d) All employees shall at all times, maintain maximum level of dignity when interacting the employees of apposite sex. The management of bank shall take stern action against an employee found blameworthy of defying office decorum in this regard.

6. Others

(a) The laws of Pakistan should always be obeyed. All employees should endeavour to familiarize themselves with the prevalent laws in general and those relating to the business of the bank in particular.
(b) The reporting and filing requirements under all applicable laws should be complied within a timely manner.
(c) Traditions, culture, norms, value conventions of Pakistan and the society must be respected by all employee of the bank.

7. Compliance

(a) All employees are fully committed to ensuring that all business decisions and actions comply with all applicable laws and regulations and to observing good standard of behavior and practice in accordance with agreed industry Cod of Practice.
(b) The bank will ensure that
  i. All employees will be made aware of this code.
  ii. No employee will be asked to do any thing that would contravene this Code.
  iii. Queries and concerns rising under this code will be dealt properly.
(c) When dealing share or any other assets, all employees must comply with all legal obligations and the regulations set down by the bank. Sensitive information held by virtue of their employment in the bank may only be used in the course of that employment and for legitimate purpose.

8. Implementation

(a) Implementation of this Code protects both customers and employees of the bank.
(b) Contravention of this Code will be dealt in accordance with the policies and procedures of the bank.
(c) All Divisions/Departments must have in place internal procedures to facilitate employees in complying with their obligations under this Code and its pursuing material contravention of this Code.

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