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Code of Ethics for Employees of Commonwealth Bank of Australia Assessment Answer

Code of Ethics: Tabular Presentation Template

You are required to research recent news articles and other information about the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). Here is an example of a recent news article describing some of the corporate governance issues at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA): 

 You must then draft a Code of Ethics for Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) 

1.  The word count for the assignment is 2000 words, excluding references.

2.You can think of your Code of Ethics as two documents in one:

Firstly, the inner core of your document: The Code of Ethics proper. This lays out the rules and behaviours expected of employees. This element of your document should NOT use any in-text referencing to support the statements made. You are creating rules, and not copying these from elsewhere. To use in-text referencing undermines the rule-like status of the statements produced.

Secondly, wrapped around the inner core:  a discussion document which allows you to evidence your research and learning on the topic of Codes of Ethics/Codes of Conduct. Here, you should use in-text referencing to support your discussion of the core concepts for this assignmentYour Code of Ethics for Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) must specifically address: (please note that you have to make table for all mentioned factors to separate code of ethics and discussion. please go through below writings to clear confusion if you have)                    




Dishonest and Fraudulent Behaviour

Whistleblower Protections


The document you submit should make it apparent to your reader, which sections of the document are discussion (including citations); and which sections lay down the rules for the company employees (free of citations).

3. Remember to separate the code of ethics from the rationale for it, ie the definitions, research etc

As discussed, the idea here is to make very clear what is the actual code of ethics part of your work is.

Codes of Ethics

Write a short paragraph, no more than c. 200 -250 words, that shows you know what a Code of Ethics/ Code of Conduct is and what a company Code of Ethics is supposed to do. Use in-text referencing to some academic articles, to show the reading you have been doing on this topic.

Provide the same Core Information, as per the Linear Presentation template. The only difference:  here you divide the remainder of your Document into two columns in a table. Doing this will separate the Code of Conduct sections, from the Discussions.

Draw a horizontal line in your table, where the longer section (Code, or Discussion) ends.  Then begin the next Code section, in a new row.

Code of EthicsDiscussion
  • Employees must show respect for other persons in the workplace;
  • During the recruitment process, employees must do ……. and not do ….
  • Etc.
Note: the Code of Conduct section should NOT provide in-text referencing. You are creating rules, and not copying these from elsewhere.
Brief discussion (one short paragraph, no more than 150 – 200 words) that defines the concept of Discrimination as a moral term. Use in-text referencing to support your definition. Provide one or two examples of workplace acts that would amount to discrimination. (Your examples may briefly mention facts you have learned through the Case Study.)
Section follows the same procedure as for ‘Discrimination’
Section follows the same procedure as for ‘Discrimination’


1. The code of Ethics for the employees of Commonwealth Bank of Australia: 

In order to maintain integrity and honesty in business and to manage the reputation of business, the employees of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia can follow some specific Code of ethics. They are discussed below:


  • Avoiding bullying to any employee

The employees could respect each other and should not bully any employees. Employees need to follow this rule strictly to eliminate discrimination issues from the organization. Along with this, respecting each other generates strong bonds between the employees and operation of the organization can be maintained properly.

  • Providing equal opportunity to the employees

The authorities could provide equal opportunities to every employee of CBA. Every employee needs to get an equal chance to improve their performance. This rule will be effective to resolve the discrimination issue from the organization and to maintain the Code of ethics as well. 


  • Prohibition of the harassment of employees

Employees of CBA need not harass employees by verbally or physically. Harassment is a kind of exploitation that must be prohibited by the authorities to generate a positive and vibrant work atmosphere where employees can work safely without any worry.    

  • Prohibition in illegal allegation

Employees need not to alleged other employees illegally in CBA. The illegal allegation is also exploitation which destroys the integrity of the employees. Therefore, employees can maintain this rule to sustain the positive work environment of CBA. 


● Need to avoid insider trading:

Firstly, the employees of CBA can avoid being connected with any insider trading of the company. Mostly, insider trading of the company deals with the sharing of any price-sensitive information or sharing of any confidential data. However, participating in insider trading is an unethical issue as per the Australian trading share policy. Therefore, the employees need not deal with any entity investment or not to encourage other employees to participate in insider trading. 

● Need to avoid unauthorized payments:

As CBA provides banking policy to the Australian customer, therefore, employees can face unauthorised payments. Although, it is the responsibility of the employees to avoid such payments in order to maintain the business reputation of CBA in the market. Therefore, they must not accept gifts, services, discounts and other gains from any unauthorised channel for providing banking service from CBA. However, offering bribes to anyone for achieving any illegal service is prohibited, therefore, the employers need to maintain this rule to avoid unethical issues.

Dishonest and Fraudulent Behaviour

  • Financial irregularity

The employees of CBA need to maintain the financial regularities of the company. Financial irregularity such as omissions of the information that are related to the financial transaction of the company or intentional statements and others are against the Code of conduct in CBA. 

  • Illegal order 

Passing any illegal order and misuse of the job position will be considered as dishonest and fraudulent behaviour in CBA. Therefore, employees need to maintain this rule in order to follow the code of ethics of CBA. 

Whistleblower Protections

As per the Whistleblower Protections act, employees of CBA can inform the higher authority in any case of fraudulent or dishonest behaviour of other employees in order to maintain the Code of ethics of the company. Through this act, CBA will provide the required protection to the employee who will provide information, and can cut the payments or punish the Whistleblower employee.  


Employees can also follow the rules of enforcement to maintain the reputation of CBA in Australia. Therefore, they have to respect the constitution of Australia and need to respect the constitutional right of liberty and equality for all. 

2. The discussion of the document:

Code of ethics
  • Employees of CBA must avoid bullying other workers.
  • Employees need to show respect to each other.
  • Authorities need to provide equal opportunity for every employee to improve their performance.  
  • During the recruitment process, employees need to consider the new workers on the basis of their skills and competencies and need to avoid any kind of discrimination. 
Concept of discrimination:
In the view of Radulescu (2017), discrimination can be defined as an act to make distinctions between human-based groups, divisions or other categories in which they belong. Organizations need to eliminate discrimination completely from the workplace to maintain ethics in an organization.  
Example 1:
Discrimination on the basis of the burden of work could be a major act that could amount to discrimination to CBA. This is because it creates inequality in terms of workload which could be a significant act harming the workplace culture of CBA.  
Example 2:
Discrimination on the basis of race, colour is another activity that brings workplace discrimination. It is required for the employees also to avoid any race and colour discrimination among their co-workers. This issue can reflect the discrimination in the workplace of CBA which is against the Code of conduct. 
  • Employees of CBA need not harass their colleagues verbally or physically. 
  • Provides illegal and wrong allegations to other employees also considered as a kind of exploitation. 
  • Exploiting the right to be respected and being informed about all terms
Concept of Exploitation:
According to the view of Sindzingre, (2018), Exploitation can be described as an act to use the resources and to treat the people unfairly in order to achieve the benefit from labour.  In an organizational context, exploitation is the act of selfishly taking advantage of labour. 
Example 1:
In 2014, CBA was charged with the illegal financial transaction by some employees (Abc, 2020). This is a significant example of financial resource exploitation of the organization by their employees.   
Example 2:
Another example of exploitation of the insured rights by providing misleading information and lack of respect when the insured alleged for misleading statements about coverage for heart attacks (Abc, 2020).
  • The employees of CBA are required to abide by all the anti-corruption rules in the bank 
  • The pioneers of the CBA will arrange the internal and external audit and inspection to check the anti-corruption in the bank
  • The inspection result is to be shared in the departments of CBA so that the employees get motivated to abide by the anti-corruption rules.  

Concept of corruption
In the opinion of Jeppesen (2019), corruption is a misuse of power by the persons who are in the position of power in an organization like in managers or other higher echelons in a private or in government organization. Corruption can take place through taking bribe, gifts and in other ways. The pioneers of an organization are required to prevent all types of corruption. 
Example 1
For example, one of the Australian Chiefs, Mr Narev quit the bank in the year 2017 for the accusations that some criminals used the cash machines for laundering nearly $millions ( Williams, 2017). 
Example 2
For another example, CBA in the year 2018 paid $ 700 million in costs for systematic failure to its report (Abc, 2018). In such a case, The company is required to ensure its report through the reward and punishment to its employees in the accounts department 
Dishonest and Fraudulent Behaviour
  • The chief executive officer in conjunction with the relevant executive officers in CBA is required to take action against those who are dishonest.  
  • The members and employees in CBA who are involved in such fraudulent cases are to repay the money in dispute. 
  • After all the investigation and lessons from the fraud cases, CBA is required to improve the fraud control measures. 

Concept of dishonest and Fraudulent behaviour 
Fraudulent or dishonest behaviour means the behaviour of the employees that are not consistent with the ethos and code of conduct ( Zager et al., 2016). 
Example 1
In the year 2018, the employees of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia involved some fraudulent act and they misbehaved with the customers. This was an issue of serious fraudulent and misbehaviour on the part of the bank employees (Abc, 2018). However, to mitigate this issue the pioneers of CBA are required to provide the training to the employees so that they can understand the value of ethical behaviour. 
Example 2
Maintaining confidentiality within an organization is the other type of ethical behaviour. The employees of CBA should maintain bank customers' confidentiality through their ethical behaviour. This type of ethical behaviour will help the bank to foster sustainability in its business.  
Whistleblower Protections
  • The Pioneers of CBA are required to  incorporate some strict laws to make the employees aware of the outcomes of whistleblower
  • The policy of retaliation  is to be followed and the managers are required  to be trained to protect whistleblowing act
  • A culture and openness are to be fostered in the management of CBA and complaints are to be made to protect Whistleblowing activities.  

Concept of whistleblower protection 
A whistleblower can be said to be a person who exposes secret information of the company to another business organization and this act is considered to be quite illegal (Kenny et al, 2020). Rigidity within an organization is to be followed and incorporated so that an employee cannot leak out secret information of an organization.  
For example, it can be told that in the year 2016, the Commonwealth Bank of Australian questioned over the whistleblowing policies on some staff of the bank. This was an internal issue of the bank (Danckert, 2016). The Bank should incorporate Qui Tam actions on its employees to mitigate this.  
Example 2
Another example can be set by mentioning that some special types of anti-whistleblowing policies are to be included especially for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.  
  • The pioneers of CBA are required to set some ethical and organizational rules and regulations for their compliance. 
  • The people at the higher position in the bank are to give power some selected persons for the imposition of their power for the enforcement of all the above-mentioned regulations. 

  • Periodical meetings are to be arranged by the pioneers of the CBA taking employees so that employees can understand the value of such enforcement.
Concept of enforcement 
Enforcement is the policies through which the organizations be it the government or the non-governmental organizations enforce some ethical rules and regulations for their compliance (Najmulmunir, 2020). Some of the employees are delegated the powers to enforce the rules and regulations in the company for their compliance.  
Example 1
For example, it can be cited that in the year 2017, the AUSTRAC filed a suit against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for under money laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act, 2006. This was for a money scandal against the bank (Aaustrac, 2018). The bank had to pay penalty also for this case. However, for this case, the CBA is required to incorporate some enforcement in the bank and give the power to some of its pioneers for the enforcement of the ethical policies.  

Table 1: Discussion of the Code of ethics 

(Source: Created by author)

3. What a Code of Ethics/ Code of Conduct is and what a company Code of Ethics is supposed to do. 

In the opinion of Adelstein and Clegg  (2016), a code of ethics is a guide through which the corporate professionals aide by some business rules and regulations and run their business in an honest manner. On the other hand, the code of ethics shows the vision, mission and the value of the organization and it also shows how the business pioneers in the company face different types of ethical issues within their organization. A code of ethics teaches the employees to respect other employees, not to do any discrimination to other employees, not to underestimate anyone and such others. Hence, from the above discussion, it can be said that the code of ethics is necessary for an organization. Through the code of ethics professionals mainly take the decision in their organizations. Code of conduct is a set of rules that are necessary for the employees to maintain the code of ethics. For example, in order to follow a code of ethics, an employee has to know the specific law that is necessary to follow that code of ethics. Therefore, both the code of ethics and code of conduct are interrelated to each other deeply.  

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